Drought

Orville Dam

Drought 2022

Emergency Conservation Required – Save Water Now

With three years of record-breaking drought conditions resulting in historically low State Water Project deliveries from Northern California, our supply resiliency is being tested like never before.

The State Water Project on average provides 30 percent of Southern California’s water. But those supplies have been so dramatically reduced over the past three years that in some parts of the region, we simply don’t have enough water to meet normal demands this year. Metropolitan and its member agencies have been working together to respond to these unprecedented conditions and stretch our available water supplies.

Metropolitan has declared a water shortage emergency and is mandating drastic cuts in water use starting with restricting outdoor watering to one day per week in areas that depend on state project supplies – portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. This drought is serious, and one of the most alarming challenges our region has ever faced. While some are being required to make even greater cuts, everyone else across Southern California is being called on to immediately reduce their water use by 20 to 30 percent. Visit bewaterwise.com for water-saving tips, rebates and resources.

SWP Service Area Map

An Immediate Crisis for Some Communities

Most of Southern California benefits from diverse imported and local water supplies. However, some local water agencies, serving about 6 million residents in Metropolitan’s service area, are SWP-dependent. The way the region’s water distribution system is designed, Metropolitan cannot deliver its other source of water – the Colorado River – to these communities. These agencies also have limited or no access to local water supplies, creating an immediate and dire challenge. View map. View list of affected cities (all or portions of cities may be affected).

Mandatory Conservation to Get Through the Year

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. In response to the severe dry conditions compromising water supplies from the SWP, Metropolitan has declared a water shortage emergency, requiring drastic water-use reductions, including limiting outdoor watering to one day a week in SWP-dependent areas. Member agencies in these areas are required to enforce water-use restrictions by June 1 or face financial penalties. If enough water isn’t conserved, or if supply conditions worsen, outdoor watering could be eliminated altogether later this year, and limitations could be placed on indoor use. Residents should refer to their local water agency for more information about restrictions and penalties.

Though SWP-dependent areas are the most stressed, we need residents and businesses throughout Southern California to heed Gov. Newsom’s call to cut water use by 20 to 30 percent. We must take this drought seriously. If we all rise to the challenge, we can get through this crisis. Let’s all conserve now to ensure our region has enough water to get through 2022 and beyond.

An Expanded Portfolio-Shower Head

Investing in Solutions, Together

Metropolitan and its 26 member agencies are making every effort to alleviate this water shortage and avoid similar challenges in the future. For the last two years, we have worked together to develop and implement extraordinary actions to respond to preserve SWP water for the communities that need it most. Agencies have switched to Colorado River connections or their own local supplies where possible and Metropolitan has developed innovative solutions, exploring all available options to alleviate the challenges of drought. This includes emergency drought projects that push Colorado River water further into our service area and pursuing water transfers and partnerships that give us access to additional supplies. We continue to make great efforts to make the region more resilient to future droughts and climate change, including accelerating our Regional Recycled Water Project to develop a new water source for our region and reimagining our distribution system to ensure all of Southern California has a high level of reliability.

Cumulative Investment

Conservation Makes Us Stronger

Southern California receives water from three aqueducts: the Colorado River Aqueduct, which we own and operate; the California Aqueduct, which carries our share of the State Water Project and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which serves the city of Los Angeles. Today, we consider local resource development and conservation our “fourth aqueduct,” supplementing our imported supplies and strengthening our drought resiliency. Meeting our region’s needs requires working together with our member agencies and local and diverse communities. Without conservation, the effects of drought would be more swift and more severe. Every drop of water saved is another drop of water we can store for dry times. And for that reason, Metropolitan has various programs focused on conservation that include rebates, on-line classes, educational resources and outreach programs. Reaching underserved communities with accessible conservation programs is also a priority. Check out bewaterwise.com for all things conservation.

Resources

 

DWR/Save Our Water/State Water Contractors: White Board Video on Drought and the Need to Conserve (Spanish)(March, 2022

DWR: Statewide Snowpack Falls Well Below Average Follow Consecutive Dry Months (March 1, 2022)

CA Department of Water Resources News Release: DWR Launches New Website to Improve Tracking of Local and Statewide Water Conditions Amid Extreme Dry Conditions (Feb. 18, 2022)

Metropolitan News Release: Metropolitan Board Acts to Increase Reliability of Southern California’s Water Supply (Feb. 8, 2022)

Department of Water Resources: Dry January Conditions Return Snowpack to Near Average Levels (Feb. 1, 2022)

Metropolitan: GM Statement on State’s Second Snowpack Survey of the Season (Feb. 1, 2022)

Metropolitan Statement: Metropolitan General Manager Issues Statement on Increased State Water Project Allocation (Jan. 20, 2022)

DWR News Release: December Storms Allow for Modest Increase in Planned State Water Project Deliveries (Jan. 20, 2022)

State Water Board News Release: State Water Board adopts emergency water use regulations to boost drought resilience (Jan. 4, 2022)

Metropolitan Statement: Results of State’s Latest Snow Survey (Dec. 30, 2021)

DWR News Release: Early Winter Storms Provide Much-Needed Sierra Snowpack (Dec. 30, 2021)

DWR Blog: Yes, We Love the Rain and Snow, but California Needs Much More (Dec. 30, 2021)

Metropolitan Press Release: Metropolitan Board Takes Actions to Alleviate Drought (Dec. 14, 2021)

Metropolitan Press Release: Agencies Partner to Boost Water Supplies for Southern California (Dec. 14, 2021)

Metropolitan Statement: Zero Percent Allocation for State Water Project (Dec. 1, 2021)

Metropolitan Press Release: Metropolitan Declares Drought Emergency (Nov. 9, 2021)

Metropolitan Statement: Gov. Newsom’s Expanded Statewide Drought Declaration (Oct. 19, 2021)

Press Release: Governor Newsom Expands Drought Emergency Statewide, Urges Californians to Redouble Water Conservation Efforts (Oct. 19, 2021)

Press Release: Mayor Garcetti Celebrates Regional Partnership on Water Conservation (Oct. 10, 2021)

Joint Press Release: Water Agencies Across West Partner to Conserve Colorado River Water, Augment Lake Mead Level Through Agricultural Fallowing, (Aug. 24, 2021)

Metropolitan Statement: Colorado River Shortage Declaration (Aug. 16, 2021)

As Drought Conditions Intensify, Governor Newsom Calls on Californians To Take Simple Actions to Conserve Water (July 8, 2021)

Metropolitan General Manager Issues Statement on Governor Newsom’s Expanded Drought Declaration (July 8, 2021)

State Agencies Call on Water Managers to Promote Water Conservation (June 9, 2021)

California State Water Resources Control Board Notice to Public Drinking Water Systems (June 8, 2021)

Metropolitan Validates Water Reliability for Southern California With New Urban Water Management Plan (May 12, 2021)

Gov. Newsom Announces $5.1 Billion Package for Water Infrastructure and Drought Response as Part of $100 Billion California Comeback Plan (May 10, 2021)

Metropolitan General Manager’s Statement on Expansion of Drought Declaration (May 10, 2021)

General Manager’s Statement on Governor’s Emergency Drought Declaration (April 22, 2021)

General Manager’s Statement on Colorado River Reservoir Conditions (April 15, 2021)

Metropolitan Explores Water Market During Critically Dry Year (April 13, 2021)

Southern California Prepared for Drought with Metropolitan Investments in Storage, Conservation, Diverse Supplies (March 31, 2021)

General Manager’s Statement on Reduction of State Water Project Allocation to 5 Percent, (March 23, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: As drought crisis deepens, government will release less water from Colorado River reservoir (May 3, 2022)

ABC7: Trying to be more drought conscious? Here are some alternatives for your law (May 2, 2022)

Fox Weather:  Conserving Water by restricting outdoor watering (May 1, 2022)

Los Angeles Times: Sweeping water restrictions will change life in Southern California: A guide (April 28, 2022)

Los Angeles Times: Unprecedented water restrictions ordered as MWD declares water shortages emergency (April 26, 2022)

DWR awards $49 million to help disadvantaged with California drought (KION546), (March 4, 2022)

Cronkite News/Arizona PBS: What’s ‘average’? Snowpack determines health of Colorado River, and our understanding of it is changing (March 9, 2022)

CalMatters: Seed funding needed for major water recycling project in Southern California (March 2, 2022)

KTLA: Southern California district wins 2nd prize at international water tasting contest (Feb. 28, 2022)

Beverly Hills Courier: Council Supports Water Conservation Challenge (Beverly Hills Courier, Feb. 21, 2022)

West Basin Municipal Water District offers incentives for grass replacement (Spectrum News, Feb. 18, 2022)

New York Times: Expecting the Western Drought to End Soon? Not Likely, Forecasters Say. (Feb. 17, 2022)

NPR: Study Finds Western Megadrought is Worst in 1,200 Years (Feb. 14, 2022)

Sacramento Bee: As drought continues, Southern California offers millions to buy Sacramento Valley water (Feb. 10, 2022)

CalMatters: Erratic weather requires new water policy approach (Feb. 8, 2022)

Patch: Local Water Districts Continue to Urge Conservation (Feb. 7, 2022)

NBC Last Vegas: Recycling Los Angeles’ water: We help them, they help us (Feb. 2, 2022)

Associated Press: Dry January means less water than normal in California snow (Feb. 1, 2022)

Fresno Bee: Stop asking when California’s drought will be over. Dry winters are the new normal (Feb. 1, 2022)

CBS LA: LADWP Offering Rebates Up To $2 Million To Property Owners Who Install Large Water-Conservation Systems (Jan. 27, 2022)

Public Policy Institute of California: A Shrinking River Inspires Growing Collaboration (Jan. 24, 2022)

The Washington Post: After snowy December, California suddenly turns dry, magnifying drought concern (Jan. 24, 2022)

Associated Press/KTLA: California water districts to get more supply than planned (Jan. 20, 2022)

The Hill: Newsom allocates $22.5 billion to climate crisis in California budget proposal (Jan. 11, 2022)

Wet season watch: Will California get out of drought this winter? (Jan. 10, 2022)

Los Angeles Times: California adopts drought rules outlawing water wasting, with fines of up to $500 (Jan. 4, 2022)

Associated Press: Water content of California snowpack far above normal levels (Dec. 30, 2021)

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Welcome the bout of winter storms, just don’t call them drought busters (Dec. 30, 2021)

Las Vegas Sun: ‘What we need is multiple solutions’ to solve water crisis (Dec. 19, 2021)

Los Angeles Times Editorial: What we should do with all that rainwater (Dec. 18, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: California, Arizona, Nevada agree to take less water from ailing Colorado River (Dec. 15, 2021)

Associated Press: Big California storm dumps snow, drenches parched regions (Dec. 14, 2021)

CBS News: Some in California have to limit their daily water usage to 55 gallons. Here’s what that means for everyday activities (Dec. 8, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: California, Arizona and Nevada in talks on new plan to save Colorado River water (Nov. 17, 2021)

New York Times: What La Niña Means for California’s Drought (Nov. 16, 2021)

San Francisco Chronicle: In a disastrous drought, a grim milestone: California could see its first big reservoir run dry (Nov. 14, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: Metropolitan Water District declares drought emergency in Southern California (Nov. 9, 2021)

Spectrum News: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declares regional drought emergency (Nov. 9, 2021)

Arizona Republic: It could take at least 500,000 acre-feet of water a year to keep Lake Mead from tanking (Nov. 8, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: October’s torrential rains brought some drought relief, but California’s big picture still bleak (Nov. 8, 2021)

New York Times: How Californians Can Save More Water (Nov. 4, 2021)

Buzzfeed: People in Arizona are about to face the West’s first major water crisis (Oct. 27, 2021)

Spectrum 1 News: Burbank places restrictions on landscape water use as drought worsens (Oct. 27, 2021)

OC Register: Rains helped, but drought is part of ‘new normal’ (Oct. 26, 2021)

San Francisco Chronicle: Charts show where California reservoir totals stand after the atmospheric river (Oct. 26, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: Drought-stricken California cut its water use by 5% in August (Oct. 19, 2021)

The Hill: Newsom expands California drought emergency statewide (Oct. 19, 2021)

Los Angeles Daily News: LADWP has saved enough water that it will start sharing with neighbors (Oct. 6, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles shifts water supplies as drought hammers State Water Project (Oct. 6, 2021)

Orange County Register: Unprecedented drought, heat mark start of fire season for Southern California (Sept. 27, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: Newsom signs $15 billion package to fight climate change, wildfire, and drought (Sept. 23, 2021)

LA Times Editorial: Yes, Southern California, we have a water shortage emergency too (Sept. 23, 2021)

CalMatters: As California drought deepens, water use drops only 1.8% (Sept. 21, 2021)

Metropolitan Press Release: Drought prompts new Metropolitan advertising campaign asking region to save even more water (Aug. 30, 2021)

Desert Sun: Southern California desert farmers will earn millions to fallow fields, save Colorado River water (Aug. 28, 2021)

Pasadena Now: Metropolitan Water District, Supplier of Most of Pasadena’s Water, Partners with Other Agencies to Conserve Water in Lake Mead (Aug. 24, 2021)

CalMatters: Newsom: Statewide water restrictions possible (Aug. 18, 2021)

CBS2: Water Supply Alert Issued for SoCal as Drought Worsens (Aug. 17, 2021)

Los Angeles Times: Southern California water officials declare supply alert amid worsening drought, LA Times (Aug. 17, 2021)

Metropolitan Press Release: Metropolitan Declares Water Supply Alert in Response to Severe Drought (Aug. 17, 2021)

NBC4: Metropolitan Water District Declares Water Supply Alert as Drought Worsens (Aug. 17, 2021)

Orange County Register: ‘Water supply alert’ issued for Southern California in response to drought (Aug. 17, 2021)

SoCal’s biggest water supplier calls for reduced usage amid drought, 1st-ever Colorado River Shortage (Aug. 17, 2021)

Water Supply Alert Press Conference (Aug. 17, 2021)

Fox 5 Las Vegas: Infrastructure bill could support water conservation in Southern Nevada (Aug. 10, 2021)

"We’re in uncharted territory": Lake Oroville levels reach historic low, impacting recreation (Aug. 10, 2021)

CBS News: Megadrought Poses ‘Existential’ Crisis in California and the West (July 18, 2021)

KTLA: Water level in Lake Mead, key reservoir along Colorado River, reaching record lows (July 12, 2021)

Sacramento Bee: As Drought Ravages California, Biden’s infrastructure bill could help store more water (June 30, 2021)

LA Times: This giant ‘inland ocean’ is Southern California’s last defense against drought (June 22, 2021)

CBS News: “Mega-drought” Takes Dramatic Toll on Colorado River Systems that Provides Water to 40 Million People (June 9, 2021)

Board Letter: Partnership Agreement to Fund Land Fallowing to Conserve Colorado River Water (June 7, 2021)

The New York Times: The Western Drought is Bad. Here’s What You Should Know About It (June 4, 2021)

LA Times Column: Follow the Warning Signs: California is facing a devastating drought (May 24, 2021)

The Hill: With the help of the White House and congress, water shortages mount and fire dangers escalates (May 21, 2021)

The Washington Post: California facing drought crises as water shortages mount and fire dangers escalates (May 21, 2021)

Bloomberg: Facing drought, Southern California has more water than ever (April 21, 2021)

Southern California leans on more Colorado River water to combat record dry season (April 14, 2021)

Southern California water giant wants Sacramento Valley water – and has $44 million to spend (April 13, 2021)

Drought is back. But Southern California faces less pain than Northern California (April 2, 2021)

Metropolitan Board Letter: Agreement to enter into a reverse-cyclic agreement with participating agencies to preserve availability of State Water Project supplies (Feb. 8, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Letter: Amend Capital Investment Plan to include planning and implementation of infrastructure projects to improve water supply reliability for the west service area (Feb. 8, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Letter: Agreement with the State Water Contractors to pursue potential 2022 Sacramento Valley water transfers (Feb. 8, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Letter: Agreement to enter into a reverse-cyclic agreement with participating agencies to preserve availability of State Water Project supplies (Feb. 8, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Presentation: 2021 System Operations – A Year in Review (Jan. 10, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Presentation: State Water Project Dependent Area Solutions Update (Jan. 10, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Presentation: Update on Water Surplus and Drought Management (Jan. 10, 2022)

Metropolitan Board Materials: Water Supply and Drought Management Update - Board Report (Dec. 13, 2021)

Metropolitan Board Materials: Water Supply and Drought Management Update - Board Presentation (Dec. 13, 2021)

Metropolitan Board Materials: Drought Emergency Declaration - Board letter Adopt Resolution Declaring Water Shortage (Nov. 9, 2021)

Metropolitan Board Materials: Drought Emergency Declaration - Board presentation Board Letter (Nov. 9, 2021)

Metropolitan Board Materials: Drought Emergency Declaration - General Manager memo (Nov. 9, 2021)

Board presentation: Water Surplus and Drought Management Update (Nov. 8, 2021)

Metropolitan board letter: Modifications to Metropolitan conservation programs (Nov. 8, 2021)

Metropolitan board letter: New municipal water leak detection and repair grant pilot program (Nov. 8, 2021)

Metropolitan board letter: Metropolitan and Quechan Tribe seasonal land fallowing pilot (Nov. 8, 2021)

Metropolitan presentation: Report on Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan Implementation (Nov. 8, 2021)

Metropolitan Board: Overview of Metropolitan’s Water Supply Allocation Plan, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (Oct. 11, 2021)

Metropolitan Board: Update on Water Surplus and Drought Management, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (Oct. 11, 2021)

Metropolitan Board: Update on Drought Mitigation Actions, Engineering and Operations Committee (Oct. 11, 2021)

Board Presentation: Information on Potential Seasonal Land Fallowing Pilot Program with Quechan Indian Tribe (Sept. 13, 2021)

Board Presentation: Update on Water Surplus and Drought Management (Sept. 13, 2021)

Board Presentation: Overview of Allocation Plan (Sept. 13, 2021)

Board Letter: Water Supply Alert (Aug. 16, 2021)

Board Presentation: Water Supply Alert (Aug. 16, 2021)

Water Surplus and Drought Management Update (Aug. 16, 2021)

Board Presentation: Water Surplus and Drought Management Update (July 13, 2021)

Water Supply Drought Management Update (July 12, 2021)

News Release: Governor Newsom Calls on California To Take Simple Actions to Conserve Water (July 8, 2021)

News Release: Metropolitan General Manager Issues Statement on Governor Newsom’s Expanded Drought Declaration (July 8, 2021)

Partnership agreement to fund land fallowing to conserve Colorado River water (June 7, 2021)

Water Surplus and Drought Management Update (June 7, 2021)

Board Letter: 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (May 11, 2021)

Water Surplus and Drought Management Update, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (May 10, 2021)

Authorization to Provide Cost-Offset Credits under Operational Shift Cost Offset Program (May 10, 2021)

Interstate Efforts to Conserve Colorado River Water, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (May 10, 2021)

North of Delta Water Transfers, Water Stewardship Committee (April 12, 2021)

Water Surplus and Drought Management Update, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (April 12, 2021)

2021 North of Delta Water Transfers, Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (April 12, 2021)

Update on Implementation of Statutes Making Conservation as a California Way of Life, Joint Water Planning and Stewardship Committee (March 8, 2021)

Update on 2018-21 Water Conservation Outreach Campaign, Communication and Legislation Committee (March 8, 2021)

Conservation Update, Joint Water Planning and Stewardship Committee and Conservation and Local Resources Committee (March 8, 2021)