California's Water Supply Outlook is Serious Business
Over the years, it has become increasingly evident that water use efficiency is absolutely essential for sustaining adequate and reliable water supplies for southern California. With the Colorado River recovering from a decade-long drought, the uncertainty of a long-term fix for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, and increased population growth, California is faced with long-term water supply reliability challenges.
In addition, the increasing costs of conveying and treating water supplies and replacing aging infrastructure are requiring water purveyors across the state to implement viable and cost-effective solutions to these issues. For a highly urbanized area such as Anaheim, water use efficiency continues to be the most cost-effective approach to ensuring reliable water supplies for its customers.
On April 7, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown issued a declaration which lifted the emergency drought regulations prompted by the historic California drought of 2012-2016. Given the periodic and unpredictable nature of drought events, a long-term framework aimed at ensuring the resilience of our water supplies has been implemented- “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.” Prepared by the California Department of Water Resources, in conjunction with the State Water Resources Control Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and California Energy Commission, this water conservation framework establishes the foundation for our conservation and efficiency goals.
Recent weather events have delivered much needed rain and snow to our watersheds. Groundwater supplies, which represent approximately three quarters of Orange County’s water supply, remain significantly depleted in many areas. While surface water reservoirs can fill very quickly, even in a single season, groundwater basins can take years to fill. The Orange County Groundwater Basin is still less than half full. With continued local and regional precipitation, our groundwater resources can be replenished to mitigate the impacts of the drought, but this will take more than one wet year.
The State Water Resources Control Board has imposed permanent prohibitions for practices that waste potable water, such as:
- Hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes
- Washing automobiles with hoses not equipped with a shut-off nozzle
- Using non-recirculated water in a fountain or other decorative water feature
- Watering lawns in a manner that causes runoff, or within 48 hours after measureable precipitation
- Irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians
Learn more about the comprehensive conservation plan to resolve the crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and provide a reliable water supply for California.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a collaborative approach to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta’s ecosystem and protect California’s water supplies. Watch a 10-minute video by the California Department of Water Resources.