Two years ago, California emerged out of the longest and driest drought in its history. Today the
state faces another severe drought that threatens the stability of its water supply. Governor Gavin
Newsom recently declared a drought emergency for forty-one counties in California, and the
Metropolitan Water District declared its first ever water shortage on the Colorado River.
While Los Angeles County is not yet included in the Governor's emergency declaration, the National Weather
Service has announced that L.A. County has reached a severe drought level. Since L.A imports much
of its water supply from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Colorado River; drought impacts
elsewhere also impact the availability of water in L.A. County.
Exacerbated by drought, wildfires have had a devastating impact on California's public safety,
environment, and economy. Los Angeles County faced historically large wildfires during the last
drought, notably the 2020 Bobcat and Lake fires, 2018 Woolsey fire, and 2016 Sand fire.
Drought conditions also reduce the efficiency and capacity of hydropower generation, leading to a
greater reliance on fossil fuel and reduced resiliency in our energy supply. DWP's recently
completed LA100 study shows that by 2035, Los Angeles will need to rely on hydropower and
pumped hydro storage to meet approximately 10 percent of Los Angeles' total electricity needs.
In response to the last multi-year drought, the City of Los Angeles took significant action to
conserve water and protect the integrity of L.A.'s water supply. In addition, the City of Los Angeles
has drafted plans for projects and programs that can decrease the severity of drought impacts. For
example, the One Water LA 2040 plan outlines how the City of Los Angeles can increase the
resilience of its water supply and raise awareness about the importance of conserving water.
Although the City has taken significant measures to develop and protect water supplies, we again
face an extreme drought that endangers the reliability of our water system, our public safety, our
energy reliability, and our regional economy.
I THEREFORE MOVE that the council instruct the Los Angeles Fire Dept. (LAFD) to report on its readiness
to deal with a multiyear drought event and related implications for wildfire risk in Los Angeles communities.
Additionally, LAFD should report on best practices and citizens' responsibility to mitigate wildfire risk on public property.