Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the State Water Resources Control Board’s release today of the latest statewide conservation numbers indicating an increase in water use:
“These are not the numbers we wanted to see, and they are not the numbers we need to see. We are in an unprecedented situation, where our water supplies from the State Water Project are so limited by drought and climate change that they do not meet demands. Southern Californians must decrease their water use. I know we can do it.
“Our board’s action in late April to mandate dramatic cuts in water use in one-third of Southern California, and to urge 20 percent conservation in the rest of the region, generated widespread public attention to the drought’s severity. That new public understanding of our alarming water supply crisis, combined with the mandatory emergency conservation restrictions that went into effect June 1, must prompt strong action, or we won’t have enough water to get us through the year.
“Our communities have for decades responded to our calls to increase their water efficiency and we are grateful for that. We would be in a far worse situation were it not for those efforts. But now we need to work together to immediately cut our water use to get through this crisis together.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provides 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