The nation’s largest water supplier declares a ‘drought emergency’ ahead of 2023
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, (MWD). Declared a drought emergency Wednesday, March 31, 2019, for all of the region. This declaration allows for mandatory water restrictions to be implemented in 2023. The supplier supplies water to 26 agencies that serve Los Angeles and San Diego counties. These are two of the largest population centers in the region. About 19 million people.
Southern California doesn’t get much rain (Los Angeles averages about 11 inches per annumThe district imports approximately half its water from the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains and Colorado River via the State Water Project (SWP). The SWP is a complex system of dams and canals that many Californians depend on for water.
[Related:[Related:The American West is now more dry than it has been in at least 1,200 year.]
The However, Colorado River at record lows The critical Sierra Nevada snowpack It is also decreasing, as a 23-year-long mega drought The western United States is a magnet for tourists. Warmer and dryer weather Climate change is driving climate change Water supplies are also at risk. Dan Bunk says Two of the largest reservoirs along the Colorado River are currently at historic low levels according to a US Bureau of Reclamation water manger. Lake Mead, which is located behind the Hoover Dam at the Nevada-Arizona border, has a 28 percent capacity. This compares to 100 percent in mid-1999. The Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona-Utah border, created Lake Powell. It is currently at 25% capacity.
The inauguration of the MWD declares a drought emergency For the agencies that rely on the SWP for drinking waters, approximately 7 million people are affected.
The MWD board voted in favor of extending the declaration to all Southern California water agencies and asked them to reduce their water imports immediately. If the drought continues until April 2023, the board will decide whether these cuts should be mandatory. “Some Southern Californians may have felt somewhat safe from these extreme conditions in the past few years. They shouldn’t. We are all affected.” Gloria D. GrayChair of the Metropolitan Water District Board.
MarchCalifornia officials announced that the state’s water agencies would receive only five percent of the requested supplies in the first year of next year because of the extreme dry conditions. Some agencies may receive slightly more, if it is necessary for drinking, sanitation or other safety and security concerns.
[Related:[Related:Heavy rains in drought-stricken areas could pose a danger.]
Southern California’s water supply is approximately three quarters of its total. This water is used to water gardens and yards. In 2021California Governor Gavin Newsom asked homes and businesses to reduce their water consumption by 15%, but only 5.2 % has been achieved. According to the State Water Resources Control Board.
“I think Metropolitan’s being very proactive in doing that,” Dave Eggerton (executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies) said. According to the Associated Press. “It’s the right thing to be doing.”
MWD is also investing in the largest water recycling system in the world, called Pure water. This system recycles wastewater, rather than sending it into the ocean.
Despite Some storms Reservoirs are still below average for this time in the year because of heavy snow and rain that fell on the Sierra Nevada and Central Valley.
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