Southern California’s gigantic water supplier has taken the unprecedented step of requiring about 6 million people to cut their outdoor watering to one day a week as drought continues to plague the state.
The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a water shortage emergency Tuesday. It's requiring the 26 water agencies it supplies to implement the cutback on June 1 and enforce it or face hefty fines.
The MWD relies on water from the Colorado River and the State Water Project to supply 40% of the state population. But the State Water Project expects to provide only 5% of its usual allocation.
Recently, the water district announced a 5% rate hike. With water shortages, the amount of revenue the Metropolitan Water District takes in is reduced.
“We are in the midst of unprecedented times – we face a deepening drought emergency as we emerge from a worldwide pandemic and confront national supply shortages and high inflation,” said general manager Adel Hagekhalil. “We must take bold actions today to invest in the future of our region so that we are more resilient to climate change and drought. But we must also limit overall rate increases for our member agencies, which are contending with their own investment needs and affordability concerns.”
The district serves 19 million customers.