The California Department of Water Resources (CADWR) announced a reduced water allocation to 5% today from the State Water Project (SWP) following a historically dry winter. The new limited allocation may lead to restrictions on outdoor watering as priority must be given to ensuring the health and safety needs of residents are met.
The Conejo – Las Virgenes Regional Drought Partnership – comprised of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD), Calleguas Municipal Water District (Calleguas), and Triunfo Water & Sanitation District (TWSD) – continues to plead with customers to take this situation seriously and immediately increase water conservation actions in response to depleted water supplies. January and February 2022 were the driest on record, and with another projected dry March and summer right around the corner, the need for emergency conservation is dire.
“We are quickly approaching a critical juncture. I cannot stress enough the importance that every single one of our customers step up and conserve water now,” said LVMWD Board President Jay Lewitt. “Each of us must make it a priority to cut back on water use wherever possible to ensure continued availability for the needs of everyone.”
Record precipitation events in December 2021 provided hope throughout the State, with the CADWR increasing its SWP allocation to 15%. However, the much-needed reprieve was short-lived, and a record dry winter means less water will now be available to local agencies, particularly the Conejo – Las Virgenes region, which relies almost exclusively on imported water from northern California.
Water is the most precious of resources. It is the foundation of life, economies, manufacturing, agriculture, and a common thread that binds our planet together. Water conservation is not someone else’s responsibility; it is everyone’s responsibility. In this specific region, in this specific moment in time, under these specific conditions, our water supply is at a critical tipping point. By conserving, we stretch our supplies further; by continuing the status quo, it harms the entire region.
LVMWD, TWSD, and Calleguas call on all customers to further minimize their water usage. This can be accomplished most efficiently outdoors, where up to 70% of all residential water consumption occurs. Replacing thirsty turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, installing drip irrigation systems, checking for leaks, and replacing old watering timers with smart irrigation controllers can provide significant water and money savings.
Customers can visit LVMWD.com/DroughtResponse for more information on the District’s Local Drought Emergency, restrictions under Stage 3 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, and penalties for excessive water use and wasteful practices. Currently, LVMWD is calling for 25% reduction on outdoor water use, with further restrictions imminent, up to and including no outdoor water use at all.
With the latest announcement from CADWR, LVMWD is preparing to step up enforcement for water wasting, including the installation of flow restriction devices on water service accounts that far exceed the allocated water budgets for three or more months. The flow restriction devices will not provide adequate flow for irrigation. Customers who are subject to flow restriction devices will be receiving warning letters in the coming weeks and months.
“The severity of our water supply shortage cannot be overstated,” said Leon Shapiro, Chair of the TWSD Board of Directors. “It is essential that all customers redouble their efforts to use water wisely.”
TWSD customers can visit triunfowsd.com for more information on water usage guidelines, as well as conservation incentives offered by the District.
“We are hurtling towards uncharted territory with this announcement of yet another reduction in our water supply due to critically dry conditions,” stated Calleguas Board President Steve Blois. “We need to prepare now for additional conservation mandates this summer, also the possibility of a fourth consecutive dry year in 2023.”
Calleguas customers can click here for more information on the resources their agency has to offer, as well as current water use guidelines.
Conservation rebates can be found at www.socalwatersmart.com.