Millions must cut water use in drought-stricken California 2022-04-27 08:26:50

[ad_1]

the newYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Southern California The giant water supplier took the unprecedented step of asking about 6 million people to cut outdoor watering for one day a week as drought continues to breeze through the pandemic.

The Metropolitan Water District Board of Southern California declared a water shortage emergency and demanded that cities and the water agencies it supplies implement the reduction on June 1 and impose it or face heavy fines.

“We do not have sufficient water supplies at the moment to meet normal demand. Water is not available,” Metropolitan Water spokeswoman Rebecca Kimmich said. “This is unprecedented territory. We’ve never done anything like this before.”

The Metropolitan Water uses water from Colorado River and State Water Project to supply 26 public water agencies that provide water to 19 million people, or 40% of the state’s population.

Anthony Burdock, left, and Shawn D. Guzman, chief of snow surveys for the California Department of Water Resources, check the depth of a snowpack near Echo Peak, California, December 30, 2021.

Anthony Burdock, left, and Shawn D. Guzman, chief of snow surveys for the California Department of Water Resources, check the depth of a snowpack near Echo Peak, California, December 30, 2021.
(AP Photo/Randall Benton)

Fire season to a serious start with nearly 1 million acres already burned

But record drought conditions have strained the system, lowered reservoir levels, and the state water project — which gets its water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta — has estimated that it will only be able to provide about 5% of its usual allocation this year.

Kimmich said January, February and March this year were the driest three months in the state’s recorded history in terms of rainfall and snowfall.

The Metropolitan Water District said 2020 and 2021 saw the lowest rainfall ever for two consecutive years. In addition, Lake Oroville, the state’s water project’s main reservoir, reached its lowest level last year since it filled in in the 1970s.

California Governor Gavin Newsom People have been asked to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 15%, but so far residents have been slow to achieve this goal.

Many water districts have put in place measures to conserve water. On Tuesday, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District Board voted to reduce water use by 10% and limit daily use to some 1.4 million customers in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, including Oakland and Berkeley. Families will be allowed to use 1,646 gallons (6,231 liters) per day — well above the average household use of about 200 gallons (757 liters) per day — and the agency has projected that only 1% to 2% of customers will exceed the limit. San Francisco facts reported.

California parents and students protest high school plans to lower honor classes for equality reasons

Metropolitan Water District restrictions apply to areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties that rely mostly on state water supplied through the district, including some parts of Los Angeles. Urban areas are mainly affected.

Kimmich said that MWD’s client water agencies should either implement outdoor use restrictions for one day per week or find other ways to make equivalent reductions in water demand.

Although the water agencies support the water conservation move, it remains to be seen whether the public will do so, Kimmich said.

She said the Metropolitan Water District will monitor water use and, if the restrictions don’t work, could order a blanket ban on outdoor watering as soon as September.

A small stream passes through the dry, cracked ground of a former wetland near Tullalaki, California, on June 9, 2021 (AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File)

A small stream passes through the dry, cracked ground of a former wetland near Tullalaki, California, on June 9, 2021 (AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File)

Deadly US wildfires fueled by winter weather continue to threaten communities

Meanwhile, state lawmakers have taken the first step toward lowering the level of the amount of water people use in their homes.

The current California standard for indoor water use is 55 gallons (208 liters) per person per day. The rule does not apply to customers, which means that organizers do not write tickets for people to use more water than allowed. Instead, the state requires water agencies to meet this standard across all of their clients.

CLICK HERE FOR FOX NEWS APPLICATION

But the state Senate voted overwhelmingly last week to lower the standard to 47 gallons (178 liters) per person per day starting in 2025 and 42 gallons (159 liters) per person per day starting in 2030.

The bill has not yet been approved in the House, which means it still has months to go before it becomes law.

The western United States is in the middle of a severe drought after just a few years of record rain and snow filling reservoirs to full capacity. Scientists say this boom-and-bust cycle is being driven by climate change that will be characterized by longer and more severe droughts. A study earlier this year found that the western United States was in the middle of a massive drought that is now the driest in at least 1,200 years.

[ad_2]