The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently announced an initial allocation of 10 percent for water agencies who receive water from the State Water Project, which supplies about 30 percent of Southern California’s water. Water agencies that receive water from the State Water Project provide water to 26 million people, businesses and farms throughout the state.
Ten percent of water deliveries is among the lowest recorded allocations, especially as California approaches a fifth year of unprecedented drought. The low allocation emphasizes the need to ensure a more reliable water system. Actions are currently underway to modernize our state’s water delivery system through California WaterFix. SCWC recently released two infographics explaining the importance of the project which would ensure safe water supply, promote supply reliability, support drought protection and prepare for climate change.
Below is a statement from Rich Atwater, SCWC’s Executive Director regarding the announcement:
“It will take more than the possibility of a wet winter to make up for four consecutive dry years. We need a modern water system that allows us to capture water when it’s available so we can store enough water to protect us during the dry periods. California WaterFix supports drought protection, allowing agencies to move more water to storage and safeguard water supplies for the future. The current delivery system is vulnerable to earthquakes and natural disasters, and if we don’t modernize our state’s water delivery system, we risk losing 30 percent of California’s water supply. In the meantime, Californians must keep conserving.”
To view SCWC’s press release in full, click here.
Click here to read DWR’s press release for more information.
CA Cumulative Water Savings Continue to Meet Ongoing Conservation Mandate
Californians have reduced water by 27.1 percent from June to October, surpassing Governor Jerry Brown’s 25 percent conservation mandate despite a decline in the statewide water-savings rate for October. This puts the state at 76 percent of the 1.2 million acre-feet savings goal by the end of February 2016.
Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, urges residents to keep up conservation efforts despite the promise of a wet winter:
“It’s harder to keep the percentages up in the fall and winter when little outdoor watering takes place. That’s why the savings over the summer were so important. Now, we need to keep finding ways to save water. While El Niño storms may bring significant rain this winter, the depth of our drought and the uncertainty of the amount, type, and location of precipitation means we have to continue conserving every way we can. In other words, unless we get a ton of snow in the Sierras that lasts through April, every drop saved today is one we’ll be glad we have tomorrow.”
Residents are also advised to comply with urban water suppliers’ instructions to switch to fall watering schedules of once a week as well as adhere to the ban against watering when it rains and for 48 hours directly following it.
To read SWRCB’s press release, click here.
ICYMI: Water Conservation Order Extended in California
Governor Jerry Brown has extended his executive order requiring residents to conserve water as California prepares for a fifth year of drought, giving state water officials greater authority to manage drought conditions and potential winter storms.
In April, Governor Brown announced the first-ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions. Since then, state officials have set targets for local agencies, which are set to expire in February. The new order will allow emergency water conservation measures to continue through October 2016, provided that the state still state faces drought in January 2016. It will also allow Californians to capture more water, extend the suspension of some environmental rules and expedite permits to rebuild power plants damaged from wildfires.
In a New York Times article, Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, commented on the Governor’s executive order, stating:
“The goal of this is not necessarily to deal with next year, but to recognize the fact that we may well be in our own millennial drought. The problem of this drought is it’s beyond anything in our experience.”
To view the executive order in full, click here.
Member Spotlight: Southern California Edison Partners with Local Government for New Desalination Plant
Southern California Edison (SCE) partnered with the City of Avalon and Los Angeles County to construct a new desalination plant on Catalina Island in order to potentially delay or avert 50 percent water rationing. Since August 2014, Catalina has been subject to 25 percent water rationing due to the drought. The new project will connect to SCE’s original desalination project, which produces up to 200,000 gallons of water a day. It also has capability to produce an additional 125,000 gallons of water a day.
Ron Hite, SCE district manager for Catalina Island, commented on the new plant stating:
“Our community has worked hard to cut back on water use and has produced amazing results — we have reduced consumption by 40 percent, which is equivalent to a six-month water supply. With this new desalination unit, we hope to be able to get through the fall and winter until the rains come without needing deeper rationing.”
NBC4 Southern California also reported Catalina Island’s main reservoir is down to a fifth of capacity, saying the new desalination plant will provide, “a lot of relief.”
To learn more about SCE, visit http://www.edison.com/home.html.
Lawn Dude’s Conservation Column: H2O Diets Extended
Hello water peeps, Lawn Dude here. As all of us Californians sit around waiting for the impacts of El Niño to hit, I’m sitting here thinking about conservation. Yes, El Niño is big, strong, and coming our way, but he is no match for the drought. Despite storming into our state, El Niño isn’t enough to pull us out of the drought. And if you don’t believe me, then believe Governor Brown. In a new executive order, the Gov extended all of our water diets until next fall if CA still faces a drought in January. And let’s be honest, diets around the holidays are always hard to keep. Make sure to keep up the good work, CA – conservation is the way to win the drought!
For more sass and water tips, follow me @Lawn_Dude on Twitter!
Established in 1984, the Southern California Water Committee is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public education partnership dedicated to informing Southern Californians about our water needs and our state’s water resources. Spanning Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Imperial, Riverside, Ventura and Kern Counties, the SCWC’s members include representatives from business, government, labor, agriculture, water agencies and the general public.