California’s New Drought Rules: Will They Be Enough to Halt the ‘Alarming Challenges’ Ahead?

With little hope of reprieve ahead of the warming summer months, demand for water in parts of drought-stricken California is outpacing supply.

The metropolitan water district of southern California declared a water shortage emergency last week for areas that rely on the State Water Project, a sprawling system of canals, reservoirs, and pipelines that snake across roughly two-thirds the length of the state, affecting about 6 million southern Californians in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Lawn Watering Restricted for Millions in Southern California, but Not Yet in San Diego

One day after approving a restriction that will limit outdoor watering to once a week for millions of Southern California residents and businesses, leaders of the region’s largest water wholesaler said Wednesday they needed to take unprecedented steps to respond to the record drought.

“The reality is, this drought has left us without the water supply we need to meet normal demands in these areas,” Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said in a statement.