Does California have enough water for lots of new homes? Yes, experts say

Liam Dillion, Los Angeles Times on May 31, 2022

To some, it defies common sense. California is once again in the middle of a punishing drought with state leaders telling people to take shorter showers and do fewer loads of laundry to conserve water. Yet at the same time, many of the same elected officials, pledging to solve the housing crisis, are pushing for the construction of millions of new homes.

“It’s the first question I’d always get,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, who until last year ran the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the agency that delivers the water ultimately used by half the state’s population. “How in the world are you approving new housing when we’re running out of water?”

The answer, according to Kightlinger and other experts, is that there’s plenty of water available for new Californians if the 60-year trend of residents using less continues and accelerates into the future.

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