MWD declares water emergency and restricts outdoor watering

Southern California water officials took the unprecedented step Tuesday to declare a water shortage emergency and restrict outdoor watering to just one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura counties and San Bernardino – an action that will affect approximately 6 million people.

The outdoor watering restrictions would go into effect June 1, according to Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District, and would apply to areas that rely on water from the drought-ravaged State Water Project.

“We are seeing unprecedented conditions, said district chief executive Adel Hagekhalil. “We need serious demand reductions.”

The MWD Board of Directors has never taken such a step before and the resolution passed by the water wholesaler marks the first widespread water restrictions imposed in Southern California during this latest period of extreme drought.

With major reservoirs across the state at low levels, MWD has been left without enough water to meet demand in parts of Southern California, officials said.

MWD’s board voted to adopt emergency measures to “reduce non-essential water use” in certain areas. Cities and small water providers that obtain water from the MWD are required to begin limiting outdoor watering to one day per week, or find other ways to reduce usage to a new watering limit. monthly allowance.

Any water supplier who fails to comply could face heavy fines from the MWD for exceeding their monthly allowances.

The State Water Project delivers water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farmlands and southern cities. The project includes canals, pipelines, reservoirs and pumping facilities, which carry water to approximately 27 million Californians.

After a record dry start to 2022, California water officials have cut projected project deliveries this year to just 5% of full allocations.

Areas heavily or entirely dependent on the state water project include northwest LA County and Ventura County, parts of the San Gabriel Valley, and parts of the Inland Empire.

The MWD imports water from the State Water Project and the Colorado River, serving 26 public water agencies in six counties that serve 19 million people, or about half the state’s population.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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