Metropolitan Water District of Southern California officials said the restriction will apply to its member agencies that are heavily dependent on supplies from the State Water Project, but MWD called on all Southern California residents and businesses to slash water use by 30% to combat drought conditions "unlike anything we've experienced before.''
Metropolitan's board declared a Water Shortage Emergency and for the first time ever, implemented an Emergency Water Conservation Program - requiring member agencies in State Water Project-dependent areas, home to 6M #SoCal residents, to restrict outdoor watering to 1 day a week.— MWD of SoCal (@mwdh2o) April 26, 2022
According to the MWD, the once-a-week watering restriction will impact about 6 million people in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.
1/3 of our region – parts of LA, Ventura & San Bernardino counties – faces an emergency because of reliance on severely limited NorCal supplies. We're requiring these areas to cut back outdoor watering to 1 day a week, but need all #SoCal residents + businesses to save up to 30%.— MWD of SoCal (@mwdh2o) April 26, 2022
The past three years are projected to be the driest in our state's history, leading to drought conditions unlike anything we've experienced before. Following the board's actions today, we will be holding a media briefing on Wednesday at 10 am: https://t.co/8o6ydd6RF6— MWD of SoCal (@mwdh2o) April 26, 2022
The district's board approved the measure Tuesday, but it is scheduled to take effect June 1.
Officials are expected to provide more details on the policy during a news conference Wednesday morning.
MWD member water agencies that fail to enforce the requirement among its customers will face fines of up to $2,000 per acre-foot of water supplied by MWD that exceeds monthly allocation limits.
The state has already severely restricted supplies from the State Water Project, cutting deliveries to 5% of requested allocations.
Although the MWD's definition of State Water Project-dependent areas is still in flux, the outdoor-watering restriction is primarily expected to impact northwestern areas of Los Angeles County and parts of the San Gabriel Valley.
Gov. Gavin Newsom last month directed MWD and other water suppliers statewide to ramp up conservation efforts by advancing water-shortage contingency plans.
MWD offers a rebate of $2 per square foot for people who replace their grass with water-efficient landscaping. Rebates are also available from other local water agencies.
The rebate program has helped remove 200 million square feet of grass, which has saved enough water to provide about 62,000 homes with water each year, officials said.
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