Residents warned to cut back on water use

Water agencies have been told to expect just 15 percent of the amount of water they requested for 2009. The agency says people need to start cutting back now to avoid rationing next year.

One area you can cut back is outdoors. The Water District says two-thirds of the average household's water use happens outside.

"You should only be watering two to three times a week at the very, very most, and so we're going to ask people to water less and plant less and really look at your garden," said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District.

But conservation won't solve the problem. Experts said the state's water delivery system is broken.

"The California Bay Delta is this fragile ecosystem, and we move water through the ecosystem, and we always end up competing people versus fish. What we really need to do is build some long-term infrastructure that separates the two sources of water," Kightlinger said.

Experts fear another dry year in California could mean not only conservation but serious rationing for all of us.

"I'm sure that like water prices are gonna go through the roof within the next 10 years. I'm sure it's like something that Angelenos are not prepared for," said Ben Beauvais, a resident who said he conserves water.

"There's just this sort of general trend that we're just consuming too much in this world, I guess, and we're going to start having problems like this one," said Fajima Bedran, another resident who said she conserves water.

The Water District released a statement on the shortage, saying "The LADWP is fortunate in that we rely upon three other sources of water other than the State Water Project, including our own dedicated Los Angeles Aqueduct, so we're in a better position than most other agencies during shortage years. However, we face constrained resources and must redouble our conservation efforts."

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