The Los Angeles Times looks today at the increasing possibility of water rationing hitting Southern California, giving some interesting perspective about the effect supply cuts are having on a key reservoir: Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet.

The LAT’s Tony Perry writes:

Opened in 2003 at a cost of $2 billion, Diamond Valley was meant to be the major drinking-water storage facility for thirsty Southern California, as well as an insurance policy against a traumatic cutoff of water. It’s the largest reservoir in Southern California.

Now it’s a sign of the twin problems hitting the region: For two years, drought and cutbacks have kept the [Metropolitan Water District] from diverting any Colorado River water for storage at Diamond Valley; and a judge’s decision designed to save the Delta smelt led to a reduction of water delivered from Northern California.

In June 2006, Diamond Valley Lake was full, with 810,000 acre-feet of water. This week, the figure was at 485,236 and dropping. Once, the deepest spot measured 280 feet, now it’s at 200.

ROB DAVIS

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