California looks again at the dusty, dry face of drought. Currently, Los Angeles County, including the Santa Clarita Valley, is experiencing “exceptional drought.” Our local precipitation level is on track to be the driest year on record. We’re not alone, as record dry weather has gripped much of California and the western states.
In fact, conditions are so dry that the governor has declared a drought emergency for most of the state and called on all Californians to voluntarily save 15% of their water use from 2020. Some communities are demanding mandatory cuts and farmers in parts of the state were ordered to stop diverting water altogether. Reservoirs like Oroville and Shasta are at historic lows.
The local challenge is added to the fact that SCV Water has several groundwater wells temporarily out of service while we install treatment systems to remove contaminants. These new treatment systems will ensure safe and clean water for our customers.
We predicted dry years.
While this drought is terrible in many parts of the west, the good news is that SCV Water has planned to withstand dry years by storing water during wet years. For years, we have predicted cyclical droughts and invested in reliable and drought-resistant water supplies. We also have a strong water conservation program and rely on our customers to be water efficient. Here are some of the ways we are working to meet the water needs of our community today and in the future:
We use recycled water in several places in the DMC. We are also expanding our recycled water program, where possible, to ensure that groundwater and imported water are kept for consumption.
For years, we have accumulated water in the underground aquifers of Kern County. This water is stored and available for us to use in dry years. In fact, this year and last year we’ve taken some of that water out of storage rather than requiring mandatory reductions. We kept this water for only one year.
Together with our clients, we have made significant investments in the development, maintenance and management of drought resistant water supplies.
We have launched a very successful appliance renovation program for collective housing.
Our customers have used our Turf Replacement Incentive Program in their homes, business parks and educational institutions, and we’re revamping the program this year based on customer feedback to do even more.
We have proactively planned for cyclical droughts and developed a water shortage contingency plan to ensure we have an adequate water supply in the event of a shortage (drought, earthquake, fire or other event). catastrophic).
Our Groundwater Sustainability Plan and Urban Water Management Plan guide our long-term resource planning to ensure that water supplies are available to meet future water needs.
However, to successfully survive these dry conditions until 2022 or beyond, we need everyone in our community to help use water wisely. We have already saved and we can do it again. The water that we do not use this year will be there for our needs next year and the following year. As a first step, SCV Water asks its customers to adhere to the voluntary conservation objective of 15%.
Simple steps to save water
So what does it look like to reach our target of 15%? For SCV Water customers, this equates to saving 31 gallons per person per day. The good news is that small water-saving actions can translate into big water savings, and the more we save now, the more we can store for the dry years to come. For most customers, outdoor water use is the highest part of their overall water use. But leaks or outdated indoor devices can also be easy areas to save. SCV Water offers our customers a wide variety of resources and incentives. Here’s how you can help save water at home or in your business:
Residents, businesses, HOAs, and others can save water and money with lawn replacement, smart irrigation controllers, high efficiency irrigation upgrades, and more. Sign up for a free home drought review and receive help finding and implementing ways to prepare your home for continued drought.
Learn more about drought and ways to save water at home and earn $ 20 by completing the WaterSMART workshop online.
Immerse yourself in SCV Water’s water learning programs and resources. We offer virtual gardening classes and work in partnership with community organizations to provide more water information to our clients.
Visit our website for step-by-step tips and easy-to-follow videos to reduce unintentional water wastage by detecting household leaks, repairing toilets and tune up your irrigation system.
Report waste water in the SCV, so we can make every drop count.
Sign up for our Water Currents email newsletter to receive drought updates and news straight to your inbox.
Get started today at https://DroughtReadySCV.com.
On behalf of everyone at SCV Water, we thank you for your continued stewardship of our community’s water supply. Together, we can all do our part to conserve water, so that we have enough to meet our needs for years to come.
Matt Stone is the Managing Director of SCV Water.