Conservation

Water Use in State Water Project Dependent Areas

 

Three Valleys Announces Water Shortage Contingency Plan-Level 5 in its State Water Project Constrained Areas

April 21, 2022

 

 Claremont, CA — The Three Valleys Municipal Water District (TVMWD) board voted yesterday to move to a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) - Level 5 in its State Water Project (SWP) constrained areas, urging up to a 50% reduction in water use in these particular areas.

 

The TVMWD board previously declared in November 2021 a Shortage Level 2, calling for up to a 20% reduction in water use in its entire service area. TVMWD delivers approximately 60,000 acre-feet of imported water from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). TVMWD’s Miramar Water Treatment Plant in Claremont receives 100% of its imported water from the SWP, approximately 20,000 acre feet of water per year. The remaining two-thirds of the imported water delivered by TVMWD is received from MWD through its Colorado River supplies. 

 

After a third consecutive year of exceptional drought, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced last month a reduction in the SWP allocation to five percent. Subsequently, DWR issued requirements to provide additional water to meet human health and safety needs for the agencies that are solely dependent on the SWP supplies if the agencies were to implement robust conservation efforts with mandatory requirements. Local agencies will be challenged to meet demands in the constrained areas that can only receive SWP supplies and do not have connections to the Colorado River supply. The constrained area of TVMWD includes the cities of Claremont and La Verne. 

 

Governor Gavin Newsom has called upon each urban water supplier, per California Water Code section 10632, to adopt shortage levels between twenty and thirty percent based on local conditions. 

 

Agencies that currently receive SWP supplies at connections within the constrained SWP Dependent Area must implement and enforce a restriction on outdoor watering of no more than one day per week. Hand watering of trees would be exempt from the one-day-per-week restriction, along with drip irrigation systems and established fire hazard zones. MWD, the largest wholesale supplier of SWP water in the region, announced that if an agency either does not submit an acceptable plan to limit outdoor watering or if it inadequately enforces the plan, a penalty of up to $2,000 per acre-foot shall be assessed on all SWP supplies delivered to that non-compliant agency. However, agencies can avoid these outdoor watering restrictions and penalties by taking sufficient action to entirely eliminate its use of SWP supplies and switching to either local supplies or Colorado River supplies.

 

“This extreme reduction in our Northern California supplies means we all must increase our conservation efforts and cutbacks in water use. I am pleased to say this message has been aggressively acted upon by the retail member agencies we serve,” stated Matthew Litchfield, General Manager for TVMWD. 

 

Simple ways to save water in your yard

Metropolitan Proposed Emergency Drought Actions

April 8, 2022

 

The Drought Emergency is Becoming Much More Severe

  • Now in our third year of an historic drought, California just endured the driest January, February and March in recorded history. Normally these are the state’s wettest months.
  • Southern California water agencies that depend on the State Water Project are facing immediate and dire challenges due to extremely limited supplies this year.

Outdoor Watering Would Be Cut to One Day a Week for Six Million Southern Californians

  • Metropolitan has declared a drought emergency in the many Southern California communities that are dependent on the State Water Project for their supplies. This includes about one-third of Southern California’s population in portions of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.
  • Outdoor watering in these areas may be restricted to one day a week under recommendations before Metropolitan’s board. The proposed plan, which would be finalized in late April, will also include financial penalties for non-compliance and non-enforcement of these new rules.
  • If enough water isn’t conserved through these actions, or if water supply conditions worsen, outdoor watering could be eliminated.

Conservation is Needed to Get Through This Drought

  • The situation is extremely serious. All Southern Californians must cut back their water use by 20 percent to stretch available supplies and storage.
  • Metropolitan is working closely with its member agencies. We’re in this together – and if we all reduce our water use, we can get through this drought. Every drop counts.
  • To support conservation, Metropolitan has expanded its rebate programs and offers many indoor and outdoor water-saving tips on bewaterwise.com.
  • While we address these immediate challenges, Metropolitan is also committed to taking bold actions to adapt to climate change, including investing in local supplies, storage, system flexibility and making conservation a way of life.

METROPOLITAN GENERAL MANAGER ISSUES STATEMENT ON DECREASED STATE WATER PROJECT ALLOCATION

Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the California Department of Water Resources’ announcement to decrease the State Water Project allocation to 5 percent.

Contacts: Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile

Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, mobile

 

March 18, 2022

 

“California is seeing drought conditions like we’ve never seen before – simply put, nature has changed faster than anything we expected. Today’s announcement by the state is another stark indicator of our increasingly stressed water supply and the gravity of the situation we are facing. On average, 30 percent of the water we use in Southern California comes from the State Water Project. But through three years of low allocations, we’re getting a fraction of what we used to receive – lower deliveries than any time in history.

 

“Unfortunately, so far the level of conservation we’re seeing from the public is not matching the severity of these conditions. We all need to take this drought more seriously and significantly step up our water-saving efforts to help preserve our dropping storage levels and ensure we have the water we need into the summer and fall. Some communities are particularly reliant on SWP supplies, including parts of Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. The residents and businesses in these communities especially need to reduce their water use immediately.

 

“While Metropolitan and its member agencies are making new supply investments that will help in future droughts, we need greater conservation now to get through these historic conditions.

 

“We also need the partnership of the state and the federal government to create climate resilient local water supplies and storage to adapt to the changing climate.”

 

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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

The State Announces a “0” Percent Allocation for State Water Project Supplies

12/01/2021

Claremont, CA — The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today of a zero percent initial State Water Project allocation for 2022, in response to ongoing multi-year drought conditions in the state.

 

The initial zero percent allocation from the State is the latest in a series of actions taken due to two years of dry conditions. Earlier this year, Governor Newsom asked all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent. In preparation for a third consecutive dry year, Newsom declared a statewide drought emergency in October.

 

“This extreme reduction in our Northern California supplies means we all must increase our conservation efforts. I am pleased to say this message has been aggressively acted upon by the retail member agencies we serve,” stated Matthew Litchfield, General Manager for Three Valleys Municipal Water District (TVMWD).

 

In October, the TVMWD board adopted a resolution declaring a Water Supply Alert in anticipation of the zero percent allocation. This was followed in November with the board’s declaration of a Water Shortage Contingency Plan – Shortage Level 2 – which calls for up to a 20% reduction in water use. TVMWD’s Miramar Water Treatment Plant in Claremont is 100% state water project dependent for over 20,000 acre feet of water per year. This accounts for approximately one-third of the treated water necessary to meet the demands of the service area, in addition to local supplies.

METROPOLITAN GENERAL MANAGER ISSUES STATEMENT ON ANNOUNCEMENT OF ZERO PERCENT ALLOCATION FOR STATE WATER PROJECT

 

Nov. 9, 2021

Contacts: 

Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450, (202) 821-5253, mobile; rkimitch@mwdh2o.com

Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile; mfairfield@mwdh2o.com

 

Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the Department of Water Resources’ announcement today of a zero percent initial State Water Project allocation:

 

“The conditions on the State Water Project are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. While we certainly hope they improve, we must be prepared for the reality that the state project may not have any water to allocate in 2022. Parts of Southern California depend on this supply almost exclusively for their water. We are working with our member agencies serving those communities – in parts of Ventura and northern Los Angeles counties as well as the Inland Empire – to make sure residents and businesses understand the severity and complexity of the situation and are responding by reducing their water use as much as necessary. At the same time, Metropolitan will continue doing everything we can to get water from other sources to these communities.

 

“Metropolitan’s board last month declared a drought emergency in anticipation of the zero percent allocation. While Southern California’s diverse supply portfolio means other parts of our region can turn to water from the Colorado River and local sources during this time, the dramatic reduction of our Northern California supplies means we all must step up our conservation efforts. Earlier this year, Gov. Newsom asked all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent. We all need to keep working toward this goal. Reduce the amount you are watering outside by a day, or two. Take shorter showers. Fix leaks. If we all do our part, we’ll get through this together.”

“Climate change is creating a new normal. Looking ahead, we need to increase our investments in water efficiency, recycling and storage. Southern California has done a lot, but we need to do more. And we can’t do it alone. We need our state and federal partners to help accelerate these investments through a coordinated strategy for resilient, integrated and balanced water management. We are one.”

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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

 

METROPOLITAN DECLARES DROUGHT EMERGENCY

Metropolitan Board of Directors calls for increased conservation in and expands water-efficiency programs

Nov. 9, 2021

Contacts: 

Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450, (202) 821-5253, mobile; rkimitch@mwdh2o.com

Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile; mfairfield@mwdh2o.com

 

With record dry conditions straining Southern California’s water supplies, Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors today declared a Drought Emergency and called for increased efforts to maximize conservation, especially in communities facing the greatest challenges. 

 

The declaration comes as California grapples with unprecedented conditions on state water resources. Water years 2020 and 2021 were the driest two-year sequence on record for precipitation in the state. And in August, Lake Oroville – the main reservoir on the State Water Project – reached its lowest point ever since being filled in the 1970s. 

 

As part of today’s emergency declaration, Metropolitan’s board called on its member agencies dependent on state project water to use increased conservation measures or other means to reduce their use of these limited supplies. 

 

To help the region save water, the board also approved a series of measures to expand various rebate and water-efficiency programs. 

 

“We need immediate action to preserve and stretch our limited State Water Project supplies,” board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said. “Southern California on average gets about one-third of its water from Northern California via the state project. Next year, we’ll be lucky to get a small fraction of that.”

 

The California Department of Water Resources has indicated its initial SWP allocation next month will be zero. And if drought conditions continue, the state could do something it has never done before – provide only enough water as deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of Californians. Under this never-before-used provision of the SWP contract, the state has indicated it would constrain water deliveries to a level that may prevent any outdoor watering. 

 

 “We’re reaching uncharted territory here and we need all Southern Californians to be part of the solution,” Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said. “We need everyone to take action to reduce their water use immediately. This drought emergency declaration helps us all move in the same direction.”

 

While the region’s SWP supplies are particularly stressed this year, much of Southern California can turn to the Colorado River, local supplies and Metropolitan’s stored water in the Colorado River system. This year, Metropolitan has taken extraordinary actions to preserve SWP supplies by instead delivering Colorado River water to as much of the region as possible. 

 

Metropolitan has rehabilitated the Greg Avenue Pump station, allowing Colorado River water to be pumped further west than it ever has before, into the San Fernando Valley and Southern Ventura County. Metropolitan member agencies, including Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Three Valley Municipal Water District and West Basin Municipal Water District, have agreed to take deliveries of Metropolitan’s treated Colorado River water, rather than the untreated water from the SWP they would normally receive. Metropolitan is negotiating similar arrangements with other member agencies. 

 

Still, some areas of Southern California remain dependent on SWP supplies, including some communities in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties served by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Calleguas Municipal Water District, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, and Inland Empire Utilities Agency.

 

“Our Colorado River supplies are finite as well – there is a drought on that system, too – so we need everyone to use water wisely. But the urgency now is on the State Water Project. That’s why we’re calling for increased conservation in those dependent areas,” Gray said. 

 

Today’s declaration marks the latest in a series of actions Metropolitan has taken to ramp up conservation in the Southern California. In August, Metropolitan’s board declared a Water Supply Alert for the region, calling for consumers and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water use and help preserve the region’s storage reserves. Some of Metropolitan’s member agencies have already gone a step further by implementing new mandatory conservation measures or maintaining past ones. 

 

Under the expanded conservation programs approved today, Metropolitan will provide an additional $5.5 million to install high-efficiency toilets in older apartment buildings; increase its turf replacement program rebate from $2 to $3 a square foot for public agencies that replace grass with more water-efficient landscaping; and provide an additional $1.5 million for its program to directly install water-efficient devices for income-qualified customers. In addition, the board approved a new $2.6 million grant program to help public agencies detect and repair leaks in their distribution systems. 

 

 

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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26 member agencies serving 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

 

Metropolitan General Manager Issues Statement on Governor Newsom’s Expanded Statewide Drought Declaration

 

Expanded State Drought Emergency Declaration

Link to Executive Order

RESOLUTION NO.21-11-909

Link to Executive Order

RESOLUTION NO. 21-09-902

Drought Response - (ACWA)

 

As the drought continues in California, urban and agriculture water agencies are responding with conservation goals, water efficiency programs, long-term resiliency planning and other steps. The below summaries highlight some of the responses by local water purveyors across the state. ACWA member agencies can continue to submit their information online.

(Please note that the following information was voluntarily submitted by the agencies and was accurate as of the date submitted.)

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First-ever Colorado River water shortage is now almost certain, new projections show

(CNN) Thousands of people will celebrate Memorial Day this weekend on the water of Lake Mead, just 24 miles east of Las Vegas on the border of Arizona and Nevada.

What they may not realize is that the oasis they're enjoying in the desert is entering unchartered territory, with significant ramifications for millions across the Southwest in the years to come.

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Drought ravages California's reservoirs ahead of hot sumer

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Each year Lake Oroville helps water a quarter of the nation’s crops, sustain endangered salmon beneath its massive earthen dam and anchor the tourism economy of a Northern California county that must rebuild seemingly every year after unrelenting wildfires.

 

But now the mighty lake — a linchpin in a system of aqueducts and reservoirs in the arid U.S. West that makes California possible — is shrinking with surprising speed amid a severe drought, with state officials predicting it will reach a record low later this summer.

 

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2021 Drought Conditions

(May 2021)

As we begin to enter warmer months in drought conditions, communicating with our member agencies and membership associations is essential to providing insight into our service areas ongoing preparedness for climate resiliency. This is also an opportunity to highlight the need for more statewide and local investments in water infrastructure and resiliency.

 

Investments In Infrastructure Increase Water Supply Reliability

  • Together with our member agencies, Three Valleys Municipal Water District (TVMWD) has invested millions of dollars into developing and managing drought-resilient water supplies, specifically with the building of wells to increase the local groundwater supply.
  • Planning for periodic dry years and drought is part of responsible water management in California. Water agencies throughout the state have developed plans to address climate change.
  • In addition to local investment, action must be taken at the state and federal levels to improve our aging water infrastructure to realize a more reliable, resilient water supply for our residents and to maintain the food supply as the extremes of climate change grow more severe.
  • Uncertainties, such as new regulations, natural disasters and unpredictable climate are constant reminders of how important it is to invest in increased statewide storage and diversified water supplies.
  • It often takes 10 years or longer to realize the benefits of investments into more resilient and reliable water supplies.

 

California Drought Statistics/Supplies

  • As the annual water year drew to a close early this spring, the state’s current snowpack was less than twothirds of normal for this date in the Northern and Central Sierras and well under 50% for Southern Sierra, marking this past year the third driest year on record. Ongoing weather conditions will play a large part in determining how California will be impacted. (Check DWR’s website for updated figures.)
  • California’s current reservoir conditions vary throughout the state: Lake Shasta, the state’s largest reservoir located in Northern California, was at 45% of capacity (52% of historical average); San Luis Reservoir in Central California was at 45% of capacity (55% of historical average); Castaic Lake was at 68% of capacity (76% of historical average). (Statistics are as of May 25. Check DWR’s website for updated figures.)
  • Through our wholesale water supplier Metropolitan Water District (MWD), TVMWD will assess conditions on an ongoing basis to ensure we have sufficient water supplies for the community and will keep customers informed as the situation changes.

 

Long-term Water Efficiency Remains a Way of Life

  • During the 2012-2016 drought, TVMWD member agencies significantly reduced water use and currently use less water than those pre-drought levels thanks to increased awareness about water efficiency and use of various MWD and local conservation rebate and incentive programs. This long-term change will help our service area undergo what may be the second dry winter in a row. Rev. May 2021
  • California has experienced many periods of drought and weather extremes due to climate change, which will continue to occur more frequently. Continuing to make water efficiency a California way of life will help the state stay prepared for all climactic extremes.
  • As we move into the hotter, summer months, we will continue to promote the efforts of our member agencies for their ongoing water-use efficiency achievements and encourage them to keep using water wisely as a way of life in California.
  • TVMWD values efficient water use and offers customers numerous rebate and incentive programs to be more water efficient.
  • Californians can practice water efficiency year-round and make a difference by finding and fixing leaks, taking shorter showers and installing California-friendly landscapes.