The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will no longer mandate emergency restrictions on water use for nearly 7 million people after winter storms helped alleviate shortage conditions that severely limited the availability of state water supplies, the Board of Directors decided Tuesday.
While the board’s action reflects improvements in the availability of State Water Project supplies, storage reserves have been drawn down and significant challenges remain to the region’s other source of imported water – the Colorado River. Metropolitan continues to call on residents and businesses across the region to use water as efficiently as possible to refill storage and prepare for potential steep cuts to supplies from the Colorado River.
“Southern California remains in a water supply deficit. The more efficiently we all use water today, the more we can keep in storage for a future dry year,” One Water Committee Chair Tracy Quinn said. “And as we face climate whiplash, dry conditions could return as soon as next year. Metropolitan is committed to helping residents save water through our expansive rebate and incentive programs.”
The mandated emergency restrictions had been in place since June 2022 and required six of Metropolitan’s member agencies in portions of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties to limit outdoor watering to one day a week or live within volumetric limits. They were implemented after the state announced it would only be able to deliver a minimal amount of water in 2022 through the State Water Project.