Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Metropolitan Water District announces extreme drought

Southern California’s largest urban water supply district declared a drought emergency on Tuesday and called on local water suppliers to immediately stop using water from the state water project.

The resolution, passed by the Board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, encourages people across the region to step up conservation efforts, but also pays special attention to six water agencies that rely heavily or entirely on a water-stressed state’s water project.

Those water agencies supplying cities in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties have been instructed to activate additional conservation measures and cut water use through the State Water Project, which is experiencing severe shortages after one of the driest years in the state. on the record.

“We are focused on getting people across our entire service area to pay more attention to the environment,” said Deputy General Manager Deven Upadhyay.

He said the extreme drought announcement is intended to support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for Californians to cut water use by 15%, but it is also intended to focus on needed action by a subset of MWD member agencies that depend on the state’s Water Project. …

The last two years of water in California, which ended on September 30, was the driest two-year period in over a century that precipitation data was recorded. Although October storms brought torrential rains to Northern California and helped raise reservoir levels, the State Water Project’s reserves are still depleted.

This year, with the state’s major reservoirs at one of the lowest levels in history, water agencies received only 5% of their total allocation from the State Water Project. Government water officials have said that unless conditions improve significantly, they plan to initially announce a zero percentage allocation for next year.

The distribution usually changes with the amount of snow and rain in winter, and the outlook may improve. But how much is unknown. In the meantime, heads of agencies that rely on the State Water Project are being told to prepare for much less water.

MWD imports water from the State Water Project and the Colorado River, supplying 19 million people in six counties. Both sources are in short supply.

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The state water project supplies water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to agricultural land and cities in the south. Built in the 1960s and early 1970s, the project includes canals, pipelines, tanks and pumping facilities.

So far, California’s Colorado River water excretion has not been cut like Arizona and Nevada, but this may change as Lake Mead water levels continue to decline to more severe levels of scarcity.

At the moment, according to representatives of the MWD, the drought is especially serious in the framework of the State Water Project and requires immediate action.

Areas dependent on the state water project are served by six agencies: Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy, Calleguas Municipal Waters, Las Virgenes Municipal Waters, San Gabriel Upper Valley Municipal Waters, Three Valleys Municipal Waters, and Inner Utilities Empire. Agency.

LADWP representatives urged customers to redouble their efforts to save water.

“The drought we are facing now is very serious,” said Anselmo Collins, senior assistant general manager of the LADWP water system. “We encourage everyone to take a closer look at how they use water inside and outside their home, because the water we are saving now is the water in our tanks for next spring and summer.”

Los Angeles officials announced last month that the city was getting less water from the state water project and began getting additional water from the Colorado River.

MWD acts as a water wholesaler, supplying water to 26 member cities and agencies. The officials of each local water supplier will decide how to respond to the MWD drought statement.

MWD officials said they are aware that the situation in different water supply agencies differs depending on available supplies and local circumstances. In its resolution, the MWD council called on water agencies to reduce the resource use of the state water project and immediately introduce environmental requirements and restrictions to achieve these reductions.

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