A guide to sweeping Southern California water restrictions

Brown lawns. Worried about dead trees. Large fines.

Drought and climate change are forcing unprecedented water restrictions in parts of Southern California, and millions of residents are wondering what will happen now.

Here’s a guide to what we know.


On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District ordered outdoor water use to only one day a week for about 6 million people in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. The restrictions will come into effect from June 1 and will apply to drought-stricken areas dependent on water from the State Water Supply Project.

6 million affected

The regulations do not cover all of Southern California. According to a map presented by MWD Tuesday, the areas include a large swath of Ventura County as well as the San Fernando Valley, west of Los Angeles, parts of the San Gabriel Valley, and southwestern San County Bernardino.

Drought is worse

At the heart of the crisis is a worsening drought that has blanketed California and the southwestern United States. Extreme drought conditions have caused Southern California to run out of water supplies. “These regions are dependent on extremely limited supply from Northern California, and there is not enough supply to meet normal demand in these regions for the rest of the time,” said Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager of MWD. of the year,” said Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of MWD.

What could happen next?

Officials have warned that there could be more restrictions on water supplies in parts of Southern California if conditions do not improve. “If we don’t see a cut, or conditions don’t get better, the Metropolitan board has given me the power to ban all watering as of September 1,” said Hagekhalil.

Brown lawns, protect trees

With outdoor watering severely limited, officials say some lawns will need to turn brown. “We can’t afford green lawns,” says Hagekhalil. However, there are exceptions to the new rules, which are intended to protect the area’s trees, provide valuable shade and help prevent the dangerous health effects of heat. Deven Upadhyay, chief executive officer of MWD, said: “The reality is that we don’t want to see our beautiful and ecologically important trees affected because of these constraints. “People can continue to water the plants by hand.”

How to preserve?

We’ve all gone through this exercise so many times, some water-saving steps have clearly become second nature. Less watering the lawn. Shorter showers. Less flushing. But as you work to cut water use at home, experts warn that cutting and pulling water alone won’t get us out of the multi-year drought we’re facing.

https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2022-04-28/a-guide-to-sweeping-southern-california-water-restrictions A guide to sweeping Southern California water restrictions

Edmund DeMarche

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