Calabasas, CA – A collaborative of local water districts, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD), Triunfo Water & Sanitation District (TWSD) and Calleguas Municipal Water District (Calleguas), are urging significant water use reductions by their customers after the California Department of Water Resources (CADWR) announced a 0% initial allocation from the State Water Project (SWP) for the upcoming year. The December 1 announcement comes amid worsening drought conditions throughout the state.
With limited to no local sources of water, LVMWD, TWSD and Calleguas depend heavily on imported water from the SWP purchased through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Given their location in MWD’s service area, all three agencies substantially rely on SWP supplies; only a limited amount of Colorado River water can reach the westernmost portion of MWD’s service area due to pumping and infrastructure constraints – increasing the urgency to step up conservation actions locally. Logistically, the 0% allocation will impact this region the most.
Prior to the December 1 announcement, the CADWR signaled to water agencies throughout California to prepare for a 0% initial allocation from the SWP later this year. A 0% allocation means available water supplies will be prioritized to satisfy the health and safety needs of residents and businesses, but not for typical outdoor irrigation usage. Looking ahead, significant restrictions on outdoor watering may be required if snowpack conditions in the Northern Sierras do not improve this winter.
“This certainly isn’t what anyone wanted to hear,” commented LVMWD Board President Jay Lewitt. “We know that tightening water usage restrictions are difficult, and we appreciate all of our customers for stepping up to help all of us by conserving. We trust you to do your best and we hope you trust us to continue providing reliable water service through these challenging times. Getting through this means working together, for each other.”
Another factor in this decision is the state’s long-term precipitation forecast. California has experienced two consecutive dry water years, and La Niña indicates that dry conditions may persist throughout winter and spring for the entire Southwest U.S.
LVMWD, TWSD, and Calleguas call on all customers to kick their water conservation actions into high gear. This can be accomplished most efficiently outdoors, where up to 70% of all residential water use occurs. Replacing thirsty turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, installing efficient drip irrigation systems, checking for leaks, and replacing old watering timers with smart irrigation controllers can provide significant water and money savings.
LVMWD customers can visit LVMWD.com/DroughtResponse for more information on the District’s Local Drought Emergency, restrictions under Stage 3 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, and penalties for excessive water use and wasteful practices.
“We urgently need to save water, period,” said TWSD Board Chair Ray Tjulander. “Our region is no stranger to drought and uniting to meet conservation needs has never been more critical.”
TWSD customers can visit triunfowsd.com for more information on water usage guidelines, as well as conservation incentives offered by the District.
“The severity of this drought cannot be understated,” stated Calleguas Board President Steve Blois. “Our region’s water supply is already incredibly stressed – it is paramount that we get serious about conserving state water supplies wherever and however possible.”
Calleguas customers can click here for more information on the resources their agency has to offer, as well as current water use guidelines.
Conservation rebates can be found at www.socalwatersmart.com.
Photo credit: California Department of Water Resources – Lake Oroville
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Calleguas Municipal Water District and Triunfo Water & Sanitation District are connected to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and rely on supplies from the State Water Project to meet customer demands. Together, they serve approximately 735,000 residential and commercial customers in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Diane Zakian Rumbaugh
Rumbaugh Public Relations