Water Shortage Emergency Declared in Southern California

A water shortage emergency was declared by Southern California water officials for the first time ever on Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California implemented an “Emergency Water Conservation Program,” restricting outdoor watering to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. The restrictions will take effect on June 1.

The action affects some 6 million residents and comes at a time when one-third of the region “faces an emergency because of reliance on severely limited NorCal supplies,” the agency said.

“We’re requiring these areas to cut back outdoor watering to 1 day a week, but need all #SoCal residents + businesses to save up to 30%,” the water district said in a tweet.

California is experiencing one of the driest starts to spring in decades. Without a heavy dose of April and May showers, the state’s drought is projected to deepen and could lead to stricter rules on water use along with another devastating wildfire season.

The drought conditions are “unlike anything we’ve experienced before,” the water district said.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California plans to live-stream a media briefing on Wednesday.