After a wet winter, emergency outdoor watering restrictions have been lifted for 7 million Southern Californians in the MWD service area
LOS ANGELES– After the wettest winter in years helped ease the state’s extreme drought, emergency water restrictions are being lifted for nearly 7 million Southern Californians.
Since June 2022, Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District had required residents in its service area to limit outdoor watering to one day per week or live within certain volume limits.
These applied to water agencies that served nearly a third of the region’s residents, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Electricity and some Ventura County utilities, of the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire.
Now this emergency measure has been cancelled.
Still, the move came with warnings: California has not fully emerged from drought conditions, and concerns remain about future water supplies.
“Southern California remains in a water supply deficit,” said Tracy Quinn, chair of MWD’s One Water Committee. “The more efficiently we use water today, the more we can store for a future dry year.”
“And as we face a climate boost, dry conditions could return as early as next year. Metropolitanis is committed to helping residents save water through our extensive rebate and incentive programs. “
The six water agencies that were in the original decree can be found here.
Additionally, as the MWD removes its emergency measure, local agencies such as the LADWP may continue to impose their own strict restrictions on watering and other activities.
The emergency measures were put in place last year after the state of California said it would only be able to provide limited supplies through the State Water Project, which carries water from north of California to SoCal.
This came after the state experienced its three driest years on record from 2020 to 2022, according to the MWD.
But this winter’s series of atmospheric blizzards and rivers helped restore the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and replenish depleted reservoirs, leading to a large allocation from the State Water Project.
Downtown Los Angeles has seen nearly two feet of rain this winter, making it the 14th wettest in 140 years of records, according to the National Weather Service.
And it’s not finished yet. This week’s atmospheric river brought at least two inches to downtown and more rain is forecast for next week.