Southern California Water District Declares Drought Emergency

State water officials say the region’s agencies will only receive 5 percent of their requested supplies for the start of 2023 due to intense drought conditions that continue to sap western water supplies.

Read Time: 1 minute

December 16, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of California Squeduct snaking past housing developments in the Mojave Desert

The California Aqueduct brings water to millions of Southern California residents. | trekandshoot / California Aqueduct near Palmdale, California

The Associated Press reports that the largest water supplier in the United States has declared a drought emergency in Southern California, triggering the possibility of stricter mandatory restrictions on water use in the heavily populated region.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California serves roughly 19 million people across 26 water agencies, relying primarily on water imported from the Colorado River and other sources. Because of historically low reservoir levels, agencies including Metropolitan will only receive 5 percent of the supply requested at the beginning of 2023.

Officials across the west have been scrambling to develop new agreements to manage dwindling water supplies in the region as water levels in western reservoirs continue to drop. Meanwhile, voluntary restrictions haven’t worked: while Governor Gavin Newsom called on Californians to cut water use by 15 percent last year, residents statewide only reduced their usage by 5.2 percent.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 in Associated Press via Yahoo News

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