The City of Los Angeles Is a City of Water and Waste

The City of Los Angeles Is a City of Water and Waste

Letters to the Editor: Concrete channels won’t save L.A. in a mega-flood. What was paved over might save Los Angeles — and the nation

October 3, 2013

By the Associated Press

L.A. is a city sitting on 1,500 miles of paved roads, and it’s got to be the freest capital in the U.S. If I were a native Angeleno, I would love it.

As it is, I live in it, and it’s not doing very well.

The city is dealing with its worst ever flooding, and we are running completely out of space to house the displaced people.

The only way we can go is to build the next big canal, so we can bring our water and waste runoff out to the sea. We are drowning in our own waste, and we can’t even drink it. The only thing the canal can do is take it away, or else make it worse.

What is the point of building these concrete channels? Do they add to our traffic problems? Do they bring any hope of solving the real problem of water and waste control? Do they keep us from buying the next lot when the last one sells?

No, I don’t think they do.

All of these projects are going to do is add to our problems. They’re going to help us fill our reservoirs when they’re full, but not before. They’re going to help us fill our tanks with gas, and not before.

But who knows, maybe they’ll make things better. Maybe they’ll turn this city around, and we can all go back to drinking water again.

Kerry O’Callaghan is an urban planner, and he wrote this in a series of columns for the Los Angeles Times called “Cities United.”

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