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Marching for water in Los Angeles

March 20, 2009 |  5:42 pm

Organizers of a Los Angeles March for Water, part of an international World Water Day movement, are expecting thousands to turn up for the three-mile march Sunday. Participants will protest water waste and pollution in Southern California, as well as draw attention to a global water crisis, according to the group.

The march comes at a time when Los Angeles, the nation's second largest city,  faces a possible water shortage and has raised rates for heavy users. Local officials are expected to address the marchers, including state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), co-author of the state's landmark global warming law; David Nahai, chief executive of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation's largest municipal utility; and Board of Public Works Commissioner Paula Daniels.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a drought emergency in the state, but march organizers disputed the view. "We've created a drought crisis by mismanaging our water and not being sustainable," said Conner Everts of the Southern California Watershed Alliance. Activists from two communities, Alpaugh and Maywood, are attending to protest unreliable tap water in their cities.

The march, which begins at 10 a.m. in L.A. Historic Park at 1799 Baker St., in downtown Los Angeles, ends at Rio de Los Angeles State Park, 1900 N. San Fernando Road, with live music, food and information for activists.

"Three miles is the average distance that millions of people walk each day to fetch water and carry it back home," according to the March for Water coalition. Some participants are expected to carry water jugs on their heads "in an act of symbolic solidarity."

--Margot Roosevelt

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