L.A. City Prodded to Grow Without Additional Water07/31/2015 dcoffin 1 Comment
In the most recent Water Board Water Conservation Report showing the state's June 2015 conservation, LADWP has been revising population figures presumably to keep the Residential gallons per capita daily (R-GPCD) level from getting out of control. They are now estimating monthly population growth and using each months figures to calculate residential water use.
I was surprised they kept using the 3,935,257 figure from month to month since leaving the population number where it was would have artificially raised the R-GPCD while population and demand increased. The screen shot from the report shows the department's estimates that the city has grown by 55,089 residents in last twelve months (or roughly 19,674 new units1 constructed) while it has been losing water supply.
RHNA forces cities to identify properties that are suitable for development for the number of units they are allocated for. Despite the 7 year long water deficit the city has been fighting, the increasing population numbers that the LADWP is providing is a result of the California's RHNA requirement. If a developer wants to build on a property identified in the Housing Element (a RHNA requirement), the city can't say no by state law unless the UWMP or WSA is successfully challenged.
Any gains being made by residents to recover from the drought (turf removal, limiting landscaping watering days, low flow toilets, high efficiency washers, etc.) to increase storage levels and reserves are simply wiped out the state and city planning process.
1 2013-2021 Los Angeles Housing Element reports average of 2.8 inhabitants per dwelling unit.L.A.'s Water Plans, Planning, RHNA RHNA, UWMP, Water Supply Assessments