Water Use Restrictions Eased

As atmospheric rivers continue to pummel the state and reservoirs are filling beyond their historical levels, the Palmdale Water District is rolling back mandated water use restrictions.

The Board of Directors on Monday voted to change mandated water conservation measures to voluntary, removing fines and patrols for landscape watering outside the prescribed schedules.

Opinion: Yes, Southern California, We Have a Water Shortage Emergency Too

So Southern Californians didn’t decrease their water usage in July, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request for a voluntary 15% cutback?

Well, of course not. The dusty lake beds, the dry spigots, the serious water-use cutback orders and the most frightening wildfires (so far, anyway) have been in Northern California, and that’s where Newsom focused his most dire warnings. He declared a drought emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties in April, expanded it to 41 counties in May, and then to 50 counties in July — but not Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino counties. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California warned of unprecedented shortages in Lake Mead and has launched an advertising campaign calling for increased conservation. But the MWD is the victim of its own success, in that it has done a superb job over the decades supplying enough water so that residents generally don’t think about shortages.

Despite Newsom’s Call to Cut Water Use, L.A. and San Diego Didn’t Conserve in July

Despite an appeal by Gov. Gavin Newsom for all Californians to voluntarily cut water use by 15%, Southern California has lagged in conservation efforts and even increased water consumption slightly in Los Angeles and San Diego, according to newly released data.

More than two months after Newsom stood by a depleted reservoir in San Luis Obispo County to make his plea, figures released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board show that conservation efforts have varied widely from north to south.

Drought-Stricken California Hasn’t Mandated Statewide Water Restrictions. Here’s Why

After two consecutive dry winters and a series of early summer heat waves, the vast majority of California is gripped by drought.

Water levels in reservoirs like Lake Oroville, Shasta Lake and Lake Mendocino are dangerously low. Wells in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and along the Russian River are drying up, and local water officials have mandated water restrictions up to 40% in some areas.

Already, more than 85% of California is experiencing extreme drought conditions, according to the latest drought monitor released on July 15, and experts forewarn a third year of drought could be on the horizon if the state doesn’t see significant winter rain storms.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown required Californians to conserve 25% of their water during the third year of the last major drought. State leaders have not yet taken that step during this year.

Governor Urges Water Conservation as 9 Counties Added to State’s Drought List

Although Southern California is not included in the state’s drought-emergency proclamation, Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday urged residents across the state to voluntarily cut their water use by 15% amid worsening conditions across the West Coast.

He also called on businesses to slash their water use. According to the governor’s office, a 15% cut in water use would save 850,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply more than 1.7 million households for a year.

Newsom said residents have responded to drought conditions before, and he was confident they would take steps again to ease their water use.

Solvang Asks Residents to Cut Back on Water as California Faces Drought

At the Solvang City Council meeting last Monday, the council members approved a resolution to ask neighbors to voluntarily cut back on their water intake by 15%.

They also voted to impose mandatory restrictions and spend $400 thousand on supplemental water.

Solvang declared a stage one drought `condition as Santa Barbara County faces a moderate drought that is getting worse.