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Flooding Risks For The LA Aqueduct, And Other Headlines

Water flowing through an aqueduct with snow-capped mountains off in the background.
Watering entering the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Wikimedia Commons)
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Even though we definitely needed the rain and snow this winter to help with the years-long drought in Southern California, I am personally looking forward to the warm, sunny weather we are expected to get this weekend. There’s just one issue: With warmer weather, all of that snow is starting to melt. If it melts too much, too fast, all that water could trigger a flood.

Record-breaking snow melt could lead to floods

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Much of Yosemite will be closed this weekend due to flooding concerns. But, there’s another potential problem.

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Los Angeles gets half of its water supply from the Sierra Nevada via the L.A. Aqueduct, the flowing water channel you can spy traveling north on the 5 Freeway. If too much water starts to run through it, the aqueduct could get overburdened.

My colleague Jacob Margolis wrote about the amount of stored water in the snowpack in and around Inyo and Mono counties. It's a lot. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power anticipates having more than double the acre feet of water they usually have in a normal year.

The department has several measures in place to try and prevent any significant overflow, like excavators on hand to dig out sediment that might clog the aqueduct. But, Jacob added, it's an unprecedented situation — the LADWP has never dealt with this much melting snow before.

Read Jacob’s story to learn more.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass committed to evaluating the city’s neighborhood council system. This comes after the resignation of Raquel Beltran, who was criticized for her leadership over the system. Bass also addressed her plan for moving 17,000 unhoused people off the street this year.
  • Stephan Gevorkian treated patients as a doctor at Pathways Medical Group in North Hollywood. The problem is, he doesn’t have a medical license. L.A. prosecutors charged Gevorkian with impersonating a doctor. Here’s what we know (and what we don’t know) about the ongoing investigation. 
  • How can the regular Angeleno play a part in reducing emissions and creating a cleaner power grid? One answer is to electrify the things we use every day. My colleague Erin Stone has a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this transition and electrify your life (and yes, there are incentives!) 
  • A recent study from Boston University found that the rates of gun assaults on children doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic in four major cities, including L.A. Black children were the most impacted. NPR’s Sammy Caiola has more on the study’s findings. 
  • As of yesterday afternoon, 160 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest had been burned by Nob Fire. My colleague Mike Roe has the latest information on this developing story. 
  • Orange County is creating a hub that will help immigrants and refugees obtain government resources and services. My colleague Gillian Morán Pérez wrote about why county officials are implementing the new Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. 
  • California regulators are in the process of creating laws that would ban diesel trucks by 2036. The state’s trucking industry is bracing itself for the transition.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait! One more thing...

Is a plant-based diet becoming less of a trend in LA?

A gloved hand holds a plant-based meat patty over a grill
The vegan green chorizo comes off the planca and onto a tortilla at Evil Cooks in El Sereno.
(Brian Feinzimer
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Angelenos have a rep for being healthy, organic food fans. Many of us like to invest in the latest fad diets, peruse the aisle at Erewhon and exercise — a LOT. But writer Clare Wiley noticed something recently that surprised her.

Restaurants like Mendocino Farms and Burgerlords seem to be moving away from offering plant-based meat options. They're just not selling.

Frederick Guerrero, the owner of Burgerlords, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had something to do with it. People want comfort food — food they can count on.

“I have this term I tell my staff,” says Guerrero, “It’s like, we’ve been 'green-pilled.' We’ve been so marketed to that ‘plant-based is the future, blah, blah, blah’. But the reality is, that’s still a very small percentage of the way people eat. I think it will get there, I want it to get there. But I think it’s really far out.”

It seems like there’s a long way to go for the majority of folks out there to embrace vegan eating. But some believe there are also other forces at work that have turned people off of plant-based diets this year.

Read the rest of Clare’s story for more.

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