Imported Water

Over 40 percent of the water supply in Long Beach comes from imported sources originating hundreds of miles away.  The two main imported water sources are the Colorado River watershed and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.  The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is the region’s water wholesaler from which Long Beach purchases its imported water supplies.

Over time, both of these sources have become increasingly constrained and unreliable due to drought, environmental regulations and a growing population that continues to place additional demands on the respective water supply systems.

The cost of imported water is also well above that of groundwater.  In recent years, imported water rates have gone up considerably.  It is expected that imported water rates will continue to rise significantly in the future.

In an effort to maintain low water rates, the Water Department will continue to strategically seek out alternative water supplies that allow Long Beach to decrease its dependence on the purchase of expensive and unreliable imported water.