Inside Mission Control: Southern California’s water management system

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Your water takes a very long journey before it comes out of your tap. It travels through thousands of miles of pipes and aqueducts, enormous open-air and underground reservoirs, and a network of treatment plants that ensure the quality of our drinking water.

Southern California’s vast water delivery and storage system also has a kind of mission control center. Think NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center, but for H2O, not rockets and astronauts. The control center  manages and monitors the region’s water supply

The center is so critical to Southern California, water managers don’t like talking about it and do what they can to not draw public attention. The reason? Security. They worry that an act of terrorism or sabotage against the facility could temporarily jeopardize the region’s drinking water supply.

So we were very happy and a little surprised, when we were given unusual access to the control center. Here’s the story of what happens inside one of Southern California’s most important, but least known, places. You might not think about that water in your glass the same way again.