Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the California Department of Water Resources’ announced initial State Water Project allocation of 10 percent:
“While we received significant rain and snow last winter that helped replenish severely depleted storage across the state, this fall has so far been relatively dry. We must be prepared for the possibility that these dry conditions will continue. The state is wise to make a conservative initial state project allocation. Water managers recognize that climate change is making California’s swings from wet to dry even more extreme, and we must be ready.
Hopefully, we’ll again see wet conditions this winter, and the allocation will increase. But we can’t count on it, yet.
“Regardless of the weather, we can never take our water supplies for granted. For Californians, that means being as water efficient as possible, every day. For water managers, it means making strategic investments to help our communities adapt to climate change. That is precisely what Metropolitan is doing. Last month, we launched our new High Desert Water Bank, the first phase of a groundwater storage project that will allow Metropolitan to store up to 280,000 acre-feet of State Water Project supplies in the Antelope Valley groundwater basin. We’re already storing available water there that we can draw upon when needed. And our board has begun developing a Climate Adaptation Master Plan for Water, which will guide our decision-making to provide Southern California with a reliable water supply for decades to come.”