LOS ANGELES--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the State Water Resources Control Board’s decision to extend the state’s emergency drought regulations:
“Southern Californians have done a tremendous job conserving water throughout our state’s historic drought and we urge them to continue making conservation a way of life. But we are no longer in a drought emergency, which is why we asked the State Water Board to let the emergency drought regulations expire.
“Conditions have changed significantly since the drought emergency was declared. With supply conditions improving last year, we began rebuilding our regional reservoirs, thanks in part to a 60 percent allocation from the State Water Project – as much as the three previous years combined. We were also able to deliver water to local groundwater basins to help replenish their low levels. This year is looking even better. The State Water Project allocation is already at 60 percent and likely to grow. We have been steadily refilling Diamond Valley Lake, Metropolitan’s main storage reservoir, and it is anticipated to reach capacity later this year. And snowpack levels, the state’s biggest storage supply, are reaching record levels.
“But, while the emergency has ended, the need to conserve has not. Every drop of water saved is a drop we can put into storage to be better prepared for the next dry year. And we need it. All but two of the last 10 years have been dry, depleting our storage levels. Southern Californians learned a lot about water conservation during the latest drought. We cannot afford to forget those lessons.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.