2021 was the second driest year in the history of the state of California and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is warning residents that it's time to take action. They issued a statement this week that urges California residents to begin to voluntarily reduce the amount of water they use in their daily activities so that more extreme measures do not need to be taken in the future.
In the statement issued by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the organization says, "the Bureau of Reclamation declared a first-ever shortage on the Colorado River, which typically provides about 25 percent of Southern California’s water needs." The Metropolitan Water District has been one of the main providers to the region since 2016.
Governor Gavin Newsom has been calling for Southern California residents to reduce their water usage for months. In July, he signed an executive order calling for residents to cut back their water usage by 15%. While some Californians heeded this advice, there were not enough cutbacks to prevent the increasing severity of Southern California's draught conditions.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokesperson Anselmo Collins said, “The drought that we are currently facing is serious. We are also closely monitoring supply conditions and may call for additional measures to step up conservation should that become necessary.”
Southern California residents can take a number of steps to do their part in conserving water in the coming months.
- Check toilets and sinks for leaks and install flow restrictors into shower heads.
- Restrict time in the shower and turn off the faucet when brushing teeth.
- Water lawns only a few times per week.
- Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher or clothes washing machine.
- Purchase and install rain barrels for outdoor watering.
- Share information with friends and neighbors who may be uninformed.
While Southern California residents can tackle the draught on an individual level, Newsom is tackling it on a larger scale. In the statement issued on July 8, 2021, the office of the governor states they have "proposed $5.1 billion in water resiliency investments over four years to bolster the state’s emergency drought response, build regional capacity to endure drought and safeguard water supplies for communities, the economy and the environment."
Together, though, individuals in the Southern California area can greatly impact the trajectory of the state's draught. If you're a California resident, consider changing your everyday activities for the future of the state.