Severe water restrictions could hit affluent areas of Southern California amid drought

The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which serves Westlake Village, Calabasas, Agoura Hills and Hidden Hills, is going after its customers that refuse to conserve.

The district has asked its customers to use about 80 to 85 gallons per day -- some customers are using more than 200 gallons a day.

After a few warnings and fines, the water district says it will install a flow restrictor device to control the water use.

"A flow restrictor is something that will allow a less amount of water to go into the home. And what people can experience will be showers that are more trickling out, water coming out of your sink that's slower," said Mike McNutt, with the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. "Most importantly, it pretty much eradicates the ability for your irrigation system to function. So instead of having it spray out, it's just going to basically, barely bubble out. So you're not going to get what you need to do, to water your lawn."

Real-time technology allows the water district to monitor water usage, and they'll have patrols out looking for violators.

McNutt says that 70% of water usage by their customers is for outdoor watering. The Metropolitan Water District, which supplies water to millions of Southern California customers, including Las Virgenes, will restrict outdoor watering to one day a week beginning June 1, 2022.

"The 6.6 million Southern Californians, which are considered state water project dependent, like all of us here in Las Virgenes, we're all conducted to the same water source. So those individuals using more than their allocation are ultimately taking away water from other people," McNutt said.

Stephen Johnson told Eyewitness News that he's already cut back on outdoor water usage at his Westlake Village home.

"I will be able to use a watering can for some of my plants," he said. "So I'll cut back that way. And I'll use a hose that has a pressure nozzle that I can control. And I'll water brown spots and things like that."

The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District will host a public virtual town hall meeting next week to explain just how dire the water situation is.

According to the district, one strong possibility of not conserving water could be the result in outdoor watering being banned.

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