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By the Numbers, the Energy Story of SoCal's Imported Water

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Southern California loves its water--it's part of the whole mythos here that this is a brown place made green via twentieth century magic (engineering). But importing all that water takes an enormous amount of energy and now that it's the twenty-first century, the LA Times reports that "The twin forces of energy prices and climate-change regulations are threatening Southern California's long love affair with imported water, increasing the allure of local sources such as groundwater, rain and recycled supplies." There are all kinds of wild numbers involved in the story of SoCal's water supply, so we broke it down:

40-60: Percent of the Southland's water imported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

1/2: Amount of all its water supplies that LA gets from the MWD.

242: Length in miles of the Colorado River Aqueduct, which was built in the 1930s and brings water from Lake Havasu to Lake Mathews in Riverside County. It's one of the MWD's main water sources.

5: Pumping plants "carved into mountainsides" required to lift water through the Colorado River Aqueduct in order to keep it flowing across the desert. Much of the power comes from hydroelectricity from the Hoover and Parker Dams.

1,617: Feet the pumping plants lift the water over the course of the CRA.

5: Percent of Hoover Dam hydro-electricity the MWD will probably lose after 2017 when the current federal contract runs out.

Nearly 49 million: Cost in dollars of the Colorado River Aqueduct's energy last year.

80: Percent the MWD predicts that cost will go up over the next ten years.

444: Length in miles of the State Water Project's California Aqueduct, ne of the MWD's other big sources--it carries water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

1 million: Combined horsepower of the 14 pumps in the Edmonston pumping plant, the California Aqueduct's most powerful.

1,926: Feet uphill the Edmonston plant lifts water--it's "described as the single longest water lift in the world."

600,000: Single family houses that could be powered by the average amount of energy used annually to bring water from the Bay Area to Socal over the last decade.

20 million: Amount by which SWP costs are expected to rise after 2013, when "the Department of Water Resources drops its ownership interest in a coal-fired Nevada power plant."

1: The State Water Project's rank among California's biggest energy users.
· The energy, and expense, of bringing water to the Southland [LAT]