West Basin Municipal Water District announced that customer demand for imported water reached a historic low in 2022. For the first time ever, demand was less than 100,000 acre-feet (AF) of imported drinking water. Customers used approximately 98,750 AF of water for their homes and businesses during 2022, which is a 6% decrease from the region’s drinking water demand in 2020.
In the past six months, conservation efforts throughout West Basin’s service area have accelerated, getting the region closer to meeting Governor Newsom’s voluntary call for 15% water use reductions from 2020 levels. For West Basin, there is a higher water reduction target of 30%, based on West Basin’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan Level 3 Shortage stage.
The new lower-demand milestone showcases the commitment of West Basin communities to conserve water at a time of major drought in both California and the Colorado River watershed, where Southern California receives a significant portion of its drinking water.
It also demonstrates the effectiveness of West Basin’s water use efficiency programs and water resources policies to date. For example, in November 2022, the West Basin Board of Directors approved an additional investment of $300,000 in the district’s Grass Replacement Rebate Program, which incentivizes residents to replace their lawns with climate-appropriate alternatives.