The huge Metropolitan Water District in Southern California has declared a regional drought emergency due to record drought.
Directors issued the statement Tuesday in a resolution calling for increased efforts to maximize conservation. Metropolitan is a wholesaler for 26 local water companies serving a region of 19 million people.
“We need immediate action to maintain and expand our limited supplies from the state water project,” said CEO Gloria D. Gray. “Southern California gets an average of about a third of its water from Northern California through the state project. Next year we will be happy to get a small part of it. “
The 2020 and 2021 water years were the driest biennial sequences on record in the state, and in August Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s main reservoir, hit its lowest point since it was replenished in the 1970s, MWD said.
Metropolitan has tried to keep supplies to the State Water Project by instead delivering as much water as possible to the area from the Colorado River, but some areas remain reliant on State Project water.
Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom extended the state’s declaration of emergency to all of California, including major population centers. This order gives the state water authorities permission to issue mandatory water restrictions.