State, regional officials encourage all to prepare for ‘Most severe drought on record’

The Board of Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) passed a resolution Wednesday encouraging all water users to take necessary actions to extend water supplies and prepare for a prolonged drought. MWDOC’s call for action comes on the heels of extremely low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where snow levels measured just 12 percent of average water content during the January snow survey. This led the California Department of Water Resources to take the unprecedented step of reducing anticipated water supply deliveries through the State Water Project (SWP) to zero percent – meaning SWP Contractors are expecting to receive no water from the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta this year. Orange County receives approximately 30 percent of its annual water supply from this source. Therefore, water reduction use is essential.

While there is no immediate danger of water supply interruptions in Orange County, there is no indication of how long the drought will last. State environmental officials say the current drought is one of the most severe on record. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last month and directed state agencies to reduce water usage and asked residents to voluntarily cut usage by 20 percent. CLICK HERE for easy ways to reduce water usage by 20 percent.

 Governor Brown and top Democrats unveiled a $687.4 million emergency drought-relief proposal Wednesday to help residents struggling with record-dry conditions as well as to fund badly needed updates to the state’s water infrastructure. The legislation calls for food and housing assistance for struggling farm families as well as money for emergency drinking water supplies. It also would accelerate projects to capture and recycle water, improve groundwater management, and increase water conservation and efficiency. For more information, contact Alicia Berhow, Vice President, Workforce Development and Advocacy.

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