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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.