Metropolitan Water District poised to put the squeeze on County agencies

By Debra Tash

The County’s primary water purveyor is set to implement Governor Brown’s recent executive order B-29-15 for a 25% reduction in water usage.  Staff for the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies such local wholesalers as Calleguas MWD, is recommending to their Board they declare a Level 3 Regional Shortage. It would be in effect from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 and would mean a 22.5% reduction from the 2013 & 2014 average water usage.

The reduction will have less impact on the retail, consumer, level, and be somewhere in the mid-teens as far as the percentage that they will have to reduce their usage.  The public has a long way to go to meet that goal.  The South Coast Region, which extends from Ventura to San Diego, actually saw a 2 percent increase last year over 2013.  And the entire state only dropped its consumption by 2.8 percent.

The Governor’s order mandates:

  • Remove and replace turf with drought tolerant landscape options
  • Support rebate programs for water efficient devices
  • Restrict water use on commercial, industrial, and institutional properties in order to achieve 25 percent reductions in potable water use
  • Prohibit irrigation of ornamental turf on street medians with potable water supplies
  • Prohibit irrigation of new construction with potable water unless drip or microspray systems are used
  • Direct water suppliers to develop rate structures and pricing mechanisms to maximize water conservation consistent with statewide water restrictions

Metropolitan staff considered the following in recommending a move to a Level 3 water storage emergency:

Set WSAP (Water Supply Allocation Plan) Level in 2015/16 while:

  1. Supporting the Governor’s April 1, 2015 Executive Order
  2. Avoiding use of Emergency storage
  3. Managing storage for the following years
  4. Allowing for supply uncertainties
  5. Avoiding steep increases in WSAP levels in future years, if dry conditions persist

You can read Metropolitan staff recommendations and options:  8-3_Board_Letter_and_Attachments-1

It looks like we have a long, dry summer ahead of us.



Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis.

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One Response to Metropolitan Water District poised to put the squeeze on County agencies

  1. Lawrence Stein April 11, 2015 at 7:43 am

    One of the issues not being raisied is if there is a 25% usage reduction, then revenue will drop by at least 25%. Fixed costs, including debt service will remain the same. Expect water rates to increase. I have stated several times, the biggest potential customer of GREAT Water is MWD and its agencies.


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