“After the three driest years the state has ever seen, we are finally getting some relief. Depleted state reservoirs are starting to recover from record lows, and this increased allocation will certainly help communities hit hardest by this drought recover as well.
“But make no mistake, while the recent storms will help alleviate the acute emergency in areas dependent on supplies from the State Water Project, Southern California’s water challenges are far from over. We continue to draw down our largest local reservoir, Diamond Valley Lake, to meet demands. Likewise, conditions on our other source of imported supplies, the Colorado River, remain uncertain. While the recent storms have brought snow to that system as well, its reservoirs remain at record low levels after more than two decades of drought. Southern California may see significant reductions in that supply beginning next year.
“In no way do these recent storms erode our commitment to continue investing in an equitable and reliable water supply to all of our member agencies. We must be prepared for the next drought, or if dry conditions return in this current one. To replenish local storage and reduce reliance on imported supplies, we must all use water as efficiently as possible. We must also continue investing in local supplies, like our Pure Water Southern California recycling project, and developing new storage, locally and across the state. And we must improve on the flexibility of our distribution system to ensure water can be delivered to everyone equitably. Nature has given us some relief this winter, but we need to recognize and continue adapting to the changing climate. ”
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.