With California moving into a third year of severe drought, Metropolitan is expanding its call for residents and businesses to use water as efficiently as possible to help ensure the region has the water it needs for the coming months.
Metropolitan’s Board of Directors today approved entering a $10.5 million agreement to expand advertising and outreach efforts to increase public awareness of the drought and the need for conservation. The multilingual campaign will bring the conservation message to radio, digital, social media and outdoor advertising platforms through a three-year agreement for media placement services with GP Generate, a minority-owned, small business advertising agency based in Los Angeles.
“We’re asking everyone across Southern California to immediately look at their water use and consider what they can do to use less,” Metropolitan board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said. “We’ll be out there to help, in communities throughout our service area, reminding people what they can do – with rebates and tips to save money and save water – and helping our region be more resilient, more sustainable and more successful as we navigate this drought and long-term climate change.”
While the call to conserve is being made across Southern California, it is particularly strong in communities more dependent on water from the State Water Project, including parts of Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. These communities have been particularly affected by the severely limited deliveries from Northern California during the state’s ongoing drought because they cannot physically receive water from the Colorado River and have limited local supplies.
“The limited rain and snowfall we’ve received this winter is far from enough to meet the state’s water demands. That means another year of further drawing down our already depleted reservoirs. We can’t do that forever. But the less water we use now, the longer we can stretch these stored supplies into the summer and fall, and next year, if needed,” Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said.
“We’re your partner in the effort to use water wisely,” he added.
Metropolitan offers a multitude of resources at bewaterwise.com to help residents and businesses save water, including rebates for water-efficient appliances, irrigation and landscaping; classes and water-saving tips.
The latest outreach effort builds on a conservation campaign launched last August, featuring popular Southern California lifestyles and designed by in-house staff. That campaign – featured on digital and social media, outdoor billboards and radio – has generated 85 million impressions and more than 100,000 visits to bewaterwise.com
Metropolitan also is making immediate and long-term investments to help make Southern California more resilient to drought and climate change, including investing in local supplies, conservation, storage and system flexibility, and seeking state and federal support for these investments.
“We’re seeing climate conditions unlike anything we’ve ever experienced and far sooner than anticipated. We need to take action now. And we need everyone to join us,” Hagekhalil said.
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.