MWD warns serious drought conditions in California counties is 'wakeup call for what lies ahead'

When you consider all that water we use:

  • To shower
  • Wash our hands
  • Brush our teeth
  • Swim
  • Do our dishes
  • Wash our clothes

Now, Metropolitan Water District wants us to use less. Its General Manager Adel Hagekhalil says MWD’s Board Tuesday approved "a water supply alert over our 5200 square miles of our service area."

This is the second year of our latest drought. It started in 2020. While 50 of California’s 58 counties are dealing with serious drought conditions, MWD officials say their banking of water the last few years has kept us afloat, but that may not be the case for long. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: SoCal water district declares water supply alert as drought worsens

Hagekhalil says the MWD’s vision is a multi-prongued approach including, "conservation, recycling, groundwater remediation. All of these come together as what I call the One Water Solution; the water we need for our future."

Our reservoirs have kept us from being like 50 other California counties where lakes are low. Currently, water that comes to us along the California Aqueduct from the Sierras is on the decline as is water from the Colorado River which, on Monday for the first time in 20 years, experienced a shortage triggering concern.

Deven Upadhyay is MWD’s COO. He says, "This is a wakeup call for what lies ahead. This is climate change. We have a 5% state water allocation this year. To give you an idea that’s equivalent to getting one month of the normal supply that we get from our system and having to use it across the whole year."

MWD is asking for a voluntary 15% cut in our water use. There are many things you can do to help. For instance:

  • You can cut your weekly water use by 500 gallons by watering your lawns just once a week.
  • Save 35 gallons weekly by washing only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Save up to 25 gallons a day fixing leaks promptly

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How well people conserve, officials say, will determine what steps might be next if any.

Upadhyay says, "if people don’t take this seriously then we would likely see a water demand increase." 

He doesn’t think that will be the case, but he adds, "The poor outcome would be if nobody listened then next year if you got an incredibly dry year we could have to be in mandatory conditions."