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Climate and Environment

Hey, Southern California — We Need To Conserve Even More Water. Here's How.

An almost-empty, dried out reservoir.
Low water levels at the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino.
(Justin Sullivan
Getty Images)
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The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California today declared a Water Supply Alert. The agency is asking Southern Californians to voluntarily conserve water so the state can make it through another drought.

Of California's 58 counties, 50 are in a drought emergency. Governor Gavin Newsom hasn't declared an emergency for any Southern California county but residents need to do more to conserve water, says Deven Upadhyay, the Metropolitan Water District's COO.

“Install a smart meter to detect leaks at your house or a smart sprinkler control. Make sure you never over-water. And you can do both of those things by utilizing rebates that we provide at,” Upadhyay says.

Because of climate change, the weather has been drier in California and the state has seen less snowpack and runoff from water sources this year. This could spell even more trouble for our water supply next year.

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Things are also bad in other states. There's a severe water shortage at the Colorado River, which feeds into Nevada’s Lake Mead, a major source of California’s water supply. The current drought has led to Lake Mead’s lowest water levels since the 1930s.

“Southern California has a huge amount it could do with more conservation, more reclamation, which L.A. is behind on — Orange County has always been ahead on,” said Conner Everts of the Environmental Water Caucus.

Everts believes mandatory limits on water usage and long-term conservation are the keys to surviving droughts in California.

What questions do you have about Southern California?