California residents face mandatory water restrictions

San Francisco
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Effective June 1, customers of the Metropolitan Water  District of  Southern California face mandatory water restrictions.

About 6 million water users in the District’s service area (which serves 19 million customersOpens in a new tab.) must restrict their outdoor watering to 1-2 days a week due to a supply crisis caused by drought.  The District aims to reduce water consumption by 35%.

According to the District’s website,

With three years of record-breaking drought conditions resulting in historically low State Water Project [SWP] deliveries from Northern California, our supply resiliency is being tested like never before.

The State Water Project on average provides 30 percent of Southern California’s water. But those supplies have been so dramatically reduced over the past three years that in some parts of the region, we simply don’t have enough water to meet normal demands this year. Metropolitan and its member agencies have been working together to respond to these unprecedented conditions and stretch our available water supplies.

Metropolitan has declared a water shortage emergency and is mandating drastic cuts in water use starting with restricting outdoor watering to one day per week in areas that depend on state project supplies – portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. This drought is serious, and one of the most alarming challenges our region has ever faced. While some are being required to make even greater cuts, everyone else across Southern California is being called on to immediately reduce their water use by 20 to 30 percent. Visit bewaterwise.comOpens in a new tab. for water-saving tips, rebates and resources.


Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. In response to the severe dry conditions compromising water supplies from the SWP, Metropolitan has declared a water shortage emergency, requiring drastic water-use reductions, including limiting outdoor watering to one day a week in SWP-dependent areas. Member agencies in these areas are required to enforce water-use restrictions by June 1 or face financial penalties. If enough water isn’t conserved, or if supply conditions worsen, outdoor watering could be eliminated altogether later this year, and limitations could be placed on indoor use. Residents should refer to their local water agency for more information about restrictions and penalties.

The list of affected citiesOpens in a new tab. can be viewed here (PDF link).

Agricultural Impacts.

BBC News reported on the drought’s impact on California farmers, who have been struggling with water shortages and contamination for years.  Growers say it’s time for people in metropolitan areas to conserve water and do their part. The drought will affect food prices and, some warn, may create food shortages next year.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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