More than 97% of the state is now under severe, extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Many of the region’s most critical reservoirs are at half capacity or less.
Six agencies that receive water from MWD will be affected by the rules: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Calleguas Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District and Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District.
Each agency is taking a slightly different approach to achieving the required reduction, meaning there is a patchwork of rules across the region. Most are focusing their restrictions on outdoor watering since it accounts for roughly half of all urban water use.
And while MWD’s new drought rules are aimed primarily at urban users, officials have acknowledged that the vast majority of the state’s water that is used by humans goes toward agriculture — as much as 80%. Many farmers this year were put on notice that they, too, will receive limited allocations from state and federal suppliers.