LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Metropolitan Water District officials today reminded consumers and businesses throughout the Southland to shut off their sprinkler systems and abstain from irrigating outdoors to help save water during the fourth year of record drought as an unusual late season storm rolls across the state.
“Although Mother Nature is providing California a late-season gift, we’re relying on residents and businesses to continue to pitch in and conserve as much as possible by forgoing watering outdoors over the next week,” Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said. “We all need to be reminded that the water we save today is water we can call upon to help meet our supply challenges as the drought continues.”
Kightlinger said Southern Californians can do their part to help local agencies maintain reserves by immediately refraining from watering outdoors, where up to 70 percent of residential use occurs. Dry conditions have already caused many local water agencies to draw down reservoirs and groundwater supplies.
“This storm is an unexpected yet welcome respite, but it does not signal the end of the drought or our supply challenges,” he added. “It’s taken years to get into this serious situation, so it will take much more than this late-spring storm to get us out.”
The leading edge of the low-pressure system brought some light, scattered showers in parts of the region this morning, with more rain expected this afternoon. Heavier showers are expected to hit Friday morning as the storm moves through the area, bringing potential thunderstorms. Most of the wet weather is predicted to clear out of the area by Saturday.
Even though these and other similar storms are expected to provide some slight supply benefits to watersheds in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, those sources are far from recovering.
Metropolitan’s imported deliveries from Northern California through the State Water Project are currently at just 20 percent of its contracted amount. The SWP typically provides about a third of Southern California’s water. Storage in the district’s other supply source—the Colorado River—stands at historic lows after 15 drought years in the Southwest.
Starting July 1, Metropolitan Water District will restrict wholesale deliveries by about 15 percent to its 26 member public agencies to help save water and stretch dwindling reserves in the drought and in response to Gov. Brown’s ordered statewide urban water use reductions. Metropolitan’s supply allocation includes stiff surcharges for member agencies that go over their allocation.
Kightlinger reminded consumers that new drought regulations under Gov. Brown’s executive order prohibits any outdoor irrigation in urban areas within 48 hours after a rain event. In addition to immediately reducing their water demands during the storms by shutting down outdoor watering, consumers and businesses can realize more substantial savings over the long term by checking their sprinkler systems for leaks, overspray and broken sprinkler heads.
“Fixing or adjusting an inefficient outdoor sprinkler system can save up to 500 gallons of water a month. Another option is to invest in a ‘smart’ sprinkler controller, which saves up to 40 gallons a day,” Kightlinger said.
Detailed information on water-saving devices and incentives can be found at bewaterwise.com®, Metropolitan’s online drought information and water-saving portal.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.