Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the California Department of Water Resources’ announcement to increase the State Water Project allocation to 15 percent.
“The snow and rain we received in December provided some much-needed relief to the extremely dry conditions challenging our state. We will likely avoid, at least for now, the most severe cutbacks we were expecting if we didn’t receive some precipitation.
“But I must emphasize that a 15 percent allocation is still very low, and our water supplies from the State Water Project remain exceptionally limited. Even with this modest allocation, we’ll need to continue drawing down our storage reserves to meet demands. To make those reserves last if the dry conditions prevail into next year, we all need to keep using water as efficiently as possible. Metropolitan is here to help the public conserve, with tips and rebates at bewaterwise.com
“We’ve learned some important lessons over the past decade and have a deeper understanding of what we need to do to improve our delivery infrastructure so that every community in Southern California has the same level of reliability and access to diverse sources of water. We are working hard with our member agencies to make the necessary changes and investments to ensure Southern Californians always have the water they need, regardless of whether the drought continues and regardless of where they live. We need bold and strategic investments in recycling and reuse, local water supplies, storage, resilient conveyance systems and regional conservation. And we need direct federal and state support for these investments to prepare our communities and our state for future droughts and climate change.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 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.