[LA FEATURE] Running Dry


Coverage of California's historic dry spell, one of the most severe droughts on record

Residents Urged to Conserve Water Due to Water Plant Shutdown

The shutdown began at 12:01 a.m Thursday, with water deliveries resuming by 12 p.m. Sunday

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    Thousands of residents have been told to ration their water while a water treatment facility in Granada Hills receives a drought modification. NBC4’s Patrick Healy reports from Simi Valley on how the fix will affect the Southland’s water delivery system for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    Parts of west Los Angeles County and south Ventura County were asked to restrict their water usage for the next several days as a water treatment plant shutdown for drought-related upgrades.

    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California warned residents on its website that the Joseph Jensen Treatment Plant in Granada Hills would be out of service as of midnight on Thursday through noon on Sunday.

    Water Conservation Urged as Treatment Plant Closes

    [LA] Water Conservation Urged as Treatment Plant Closes
    Thousands of residents in west Los Angeles County and south Ventura County were asked to reduce their water usage over the weekend as a treatment plant shut down for drought-related upgrades. Adrian Arambulo reports for NBC4 News at noon from Granda Hills Thursday, May 8, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    "Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. That’s certainly what the current drought
    is showing us," said Debra C. Man, Metropolitan’s assistant general manager and chief operating
    officer. "The drought is challenging us to find creative ways to meet demands through conservation and delivery system enhancements."

    Valencia to Issue Personalized Drought Mailers

    [LA] Valencia to Issue Personalized Drought Mailers
    Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s call on Californians to reduce water usage amid the current drought, one Southern California city is mailing its residents personalized reports detailing water usage and ways to cut back. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Valencia for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Published Tuesday, May 6, 2014)

    The parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties affected, prior to plant closing, used water imported from Northern California that was treated at the Joseph Jensen Treatment Plant, via the state water project. Physical modifications would be made to the current water system to help maximize supply from the Colorado River, which runs east to Arizona .

    With supplies from Northern California at 5 percent of contracted deliveries this year, adjustments were needed, according to water officials.

    Environmental Group Says Answer to CA Drought is Trees

    [LA] Environmental Group Says Answer to CA Drought is Trees
    An environmental group wants to avoid the current drought becoming a health problem and believes the answer can be found in trees. Conan Nolan reports from Studio City for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Published Monday, April 28, 2014)

    Some residents took the recommended water conservation tips seriously and followed them Thursday afternoon. Jenny Fontana, of Chatsworth, cleaned her car solely by vacuuming the inside of it and not using water to wash the exterior.

    "It’s an inconvenience, but you know, what are you going to do," she said.

    Increased Water Recycling Promises Long Term Drought Relief

    [LA] Increased Water Recycling Promises Long Term Drought Relief
    Water recycling in various forms has been around decades. Now the drought is driving pressure to expand it, and potentially make some groundwater basins drought proof. . Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014. (Published Friday, April 25, 2014)

    Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency drought proclamation in January, asking Californians to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent.

    "(This is) perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” Brown said at a news conference in January. "We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas."

    The Joseph Jensen Plant is one of five treatment facilities within the Metropolitan Water District’s distribution system and is considered a significant source of drinking water for Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

    Over two dozen cities and thousands of residents are impacted by the temporary closure.

    Affected cities in Ventura County include: Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Port Hueneme, Camarillo Heights, Las Posas Valley, Oak Park, Santa Rosa Valley, Lake Sherwood, Point Mugu and Somis.

    Affected cities in Los Angeles County included: Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village, Agoura, Chatsworth, Lake Manor, Malibu Lake, Monte Nido and West Hills.

    Water officials recommended that residents refrain from washing their cars, filling swimming pools or spas, hosing down driveway, running water while washing the dishes and to limit showers to less than five minutes.

    They also added that the color of water delivered to residents may change over the weekend with an increased use of groundwater.

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