The Metropolitan Water District, which supplies water to millions of Southern California customers, has declared a water shortage emergency, requiring drastic water-use reductions, including limiting outdoor watering to one day a week. This is due to the decade-long megadrought, causing record-low water levels in reservoirs. “This drought is serious, and one of the most alarming challenges our region has ever faced,” according to the Metropolitan Water District’s website. The water district uses water from The Colorado River, now named the most endangered river in the United States by the nonprofit group American Rivers.
After September 1st, the water company might have to impose even more limits and, if the rules are not followed, they will be even stricter next year. The water providers who fail to impose the restrictions will be fined $2,000 per acre foot. And The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which serves Westlake Village, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, and Hidden Hills, is going after its customers who refuse to conserve. After a few warnings and fines, the water district says it will install a flow-restrictor device to control water use. This means that the water coming out of the faucet will be slower, and the water will barely bubble out of lawn sprinklers. The water district will have patrols out looking for violators. Officials say that if water consumption doesn’t decrease, or if the drought conditions worsen, they could take additional steps of banning of outdoor watering.
The drought has also led to a new state law being passed in Las Vegas to remove any “nonfunctional” grass turf. This is the first law of its kind in the nation. Patches of grass that are being removed are the ones found along sidewaks, in roundabouts, in median strips, and at housing developments, malls, and commercial sites. The authorities estimate there are about 3,900 acres of grass to be removed, saving up to 9.5 billion gallons of water per year.
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