The drought in California continues to impact the state and has forced a water supplier to create “emergency” conservation efforts for the first time, impacting around 6 million individuals.
On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (MWD) board announced a Water Shortage Emergency, putting forward an emergency program “requiring member agencies in State Water Project-dependent areas, home to 6M #SoCal residents, to restrict outdoor watering to 1 day a week,” per an announcement on Twitter from the district.
“We don’t have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand. The water is not there,” district spokesperson Rebecca Kimitch said, according to CBS News. “This is unprecedented territory. We’ve never done anything like this before.”
Mike Wade, the executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, told The Daily Wire that farmers have already been feeling the effects of low water delivery before this most recent move. It doesn’t apply to them as they have already had their water drastically cut, and this affects outdoor watering in urban areas.
“It has already impacted farmers. They’ve already borne the brunt of the drought,” Wade said, adding they “are facing what is essentially a 95% water supply cut.”
The district said that one-third of its region, which includes parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties “faces an emergency because of reliance on severely limited NorCal supplies.”
MWD gets its water from the State Water Project (SWP) and the Colorado River, both of which have low levels.
The district is mandating these regions reduce outdoor watering, but the board included in its announcement an executive order by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom from March. In it, Newsom pushed for “urban water suppliers to conserve more than required by the emergency regulations” described in the order. He encouraged them “to voluntarily activate more stringent local requirements based on a shortage level of up to thirty percent.”
The district said it is showing support for items in the governor’s directive, and pressing for all urban water suppliers to act to cut water use by 20 to 30%, “depending on local conditions.”
They have also said that the “past three years are projected to be the driest in our state’s history, leading to drought conditions unlike anything we’ve experienced before.”
The new water cutbacks go into effect on June 1, per The Washington Post, as municipalities and smaller suppliers with connections to the district will need to cut outdoor water usage or reach specific monthly allocation restrictions.
Fines will be enforced for those who don’t live up to the new standards — at $2,000 per acre-foot of water supplied by the agency that goes over the restrictions. The board of directors for the district announced in a report that the “[p]enalties would be enforced monthly beginning in June.”
It also pointed out that “penalties will only be applied to Metropolitan supplies delivered from the SWP system,” which means if one of the agencies decides to move its needs to other supplies or the connections with the Colorado River, it won’t be penalized in a specific month.
The board also noted that if the district requires intense conservation efforts in “the SWP Dependent Area,” then the California Department of Water Resources will give more supplies to reach the needs of water for human health and safety standards.
Other areas of the state are being impacted as well, and some are taking their own precautions. On Tuesday, East Bay Municipal Utility District in Northern California’s board voted to cut down on water use by 10% and limit daily water use for around 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, which include Berkeley and Oakland.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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