Outdoor Watering Will Be Limited To Once A Week Under New Restrictions Covering 6 Million SoCal Residents
As the state plods through a three-year drought, close to 6 million Southern Californians who get their water from the Metropolitan Water District will be limited to outdoor watering once a week — or be forced to find other ways to cut back.
The agency voted to implement an emergency water conservation program for the first time ever on Tuesday.
- Prohibits counties, cities and public agencies from approving new groundwater well permits
- Encourages all Californians to limit summertime water use
- Urges urban water suppliers to conserve more than the emergency regulations require.
To many, this is not a surprise. On April 1, state water scientists made a disappointing announcement — snow levels in the Sierra Nevada range measured nearly 40% below average during the last snowpack survey of the season.
And last month, California water officials reduced the State Water Project allocation to 5% from 15%. The project includes a network of reservoirs and dams that provide water to multiple districts and millions of California residents.
The Las Virgenes Municipal Water district, which covers 75,000 people in Agoura Hills, Calabasas and other nearby communities, also took steps recently to cut its outdoor water use in half.
The weather hasn’t exactly helped entirely. While parts of the Sierras saw more than 30 inches of snow last week, it's nowhere near enough to help California with the drought.
"With a long-term drought, we're really not going to see a whole lot of relief from it, from the most recent storms, unfortunately," said Andrew Schwartz, lead scientist for UC Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Lab.
16.9" (43 cm) of snow over the past day brings our storm total to 31.1" (79 cm). The snow has ended and the sun is out!— UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab (@UCB_CSSL) April 22, 2022
We are now at 61% of our normal #snow #water equivalent for this date, an increase of 42% since April 11th!#CAwx #CAwater pic.twitter.com/H5hCNZyaKL
Still, every snowflake and every raindrop helps.
Expect more calls to dial back your water use, Schwartz said. We're looking at another hot, dry summer.