NYT: In California, Water Restrictions Above Ground and Leaks Below

Article originally appeared June 26, 2015 in The New York Times. 

LOS ANGELES — Californians have been ordered to save water because of the drought. But one of the best ways to save it is to not lose it in the first place. That is why many cities in this thirsty state have declared a war on leaks. 

 

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Here on Whitsett Avenue in the San Fernando Valley — or rather about 20 feet below it — the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is replacing much of the Coldwater trunk line, a major artery more than 100 years old...

Los Angeles is paying close attention to its pipes, however. Its water agency targets lines with a history of leaking, and those in soil conditions that promote erosion. It also looks for pipes near critical facilities like hospitals, and in places with hilly terrain that could lead to violent flooding once the rogue water begins to flow. As the leak prevention program has been ramped up, the number of leaks in the system has dropped to 1,146 in the fiscal year 2013-14 from 2,031 in 2006-7.

Click here to view the original article at NYTimes.com.