The climate is changing, and so are Southern California’s policies. According to the Washington Post, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) declared a water shortage emergency on Tuesday, April 26. In an effort to prevent further non-essential water use, the board of MWD limited outdoor watering to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties.
California has been experiencing record high heat and record low precipitation. According to Drought.Ca.Gov, January, February, and March had the least rain and snow on record in California. These warm, dry months overshadowed gains in precipitation at the end of 2021. Additionally, the snow melted faster than expected, reducing the snowpack to just 38% of the average by April 1.
“We don’t have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand. The water is not there,” Metropolitan Water District spokesperson Rebecca Kimitch said. “This is unprecedented territory. We’ve never done anything like this before.”
The new policy will take effect on June 1st of this year, leading to a projected 30% decrease in statewide water use. A fine of $2,000 per acre-foot will be charged for any water the agency supplies that exceed the limits.
Meanwhile, regular citizens can aid in alleviating the drought by taking shorter showers, switching from fresh grass lawns to fake grass or drought-friendly plants, and generally reducing their carbon footprints in every other aspect of their lives.