Metropolitan Water District says water to come from local sources, conservation by 2035

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- No matter how much rain we get from El Nino, the Southland still faces an uncertain future for its water supply.

For decades, most of Southern California's water came from Northern California, or the Colorado River, but by 2035, most of it will have to come from local sources or conservation.

"Imported water has its challenges and we're trying to make it more reliable, but in order to meet growth, we need to look internally. We need to look at those local projects. The conservation that we've seen lately has been really phenomenal," MWD Chairman Randy Record said.

The Metropolitan Water District held a workshop to hear from the community about the future of the Southland's water. Officials said the snowpack we've relied on for years is changing, and they attribute that shift to climate change.

"You're going to see that change such that it's not as much snow, potentially it's more rainfall. That rainfall comes in short periods of time and you're not getting that storage benefit that you're seeing right now with snow," said Deven Upadhyay with MWD.

During the workshop, some people in the audience felt the district needed to stress more conservation projects. Many were also against water tunnels being discussed that divert water from the Sacramento River and deliver it to Southern California, as well as to farmers in the Central Valley.

The district is working on a plan called Water Tomorrow that it hopes will be in place by 2016 to deal with the Southland's water supply.
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