The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District on Tuesday initiated Stage 1 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, a Water Shortage Alert, in response to worsening drought conditions.
The LVMWD serves over 75,000 residents in the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village, and unincorporated areas of western Los Angeles County, who will be affected by the plan.
With 85% of California is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the alert "places a renewed focus on assisting, educating, and inspiring customers to use water wisely, day in and day out."
“We are not experiencing water shortages this year due to the drought,” said David Pedersen, general manager for LVMWD. “However, conditions could change quickly next year if we have another dry winter."
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"Now is the time to remind our customers that efficient water use is important for everyone to avoid the potential of future shortages.”
Many LVMWD customers already use water efficiently, LVMWD Board President Jay Lewitt said, because “our region is no stranger to meeting the moment when it comes to complying with emergency measures."
The goal of the water alert is to encourage those efficient customers to keep up the good work, while encouraging inefficient customers to minimize outdoor irrigation and reach out to LVMWD for assistance if they are struggling to use less water.
"We want anyone who may be struggling with reducing their water use to reach out and let us assist," Lewitt said.
The California Department of Water Resources recently recently lowered its allocation of water supplied via the State Water Project to 29 contractors throughout the state. Where those contractors previously received 10% of the amount of water they requested, they now receive 5% of their requested amount.
LVMWD says that the lowered allocations are related to "an unimpressive Northern Sierra snowpack and lower-than-expected runoff to the state’s major reservoirs."
On April 21, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for portions of California due to the second year of drought conditions. The declaration was expanded on May 10, and calls for state agencies to take immediate and specific actions to mitigate the effects of drought conditions.