04.14.15 – Today, the Board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), the region’s largest water provider, voted to ration deliveries to its 26 member agencies beginning July 1, 2015. The approved water supply allocation plan will cutback deliveries to over 19 million residents in the MWD service area by an average of 15% or approximately 300,000 acre-feet. Member agencies that require more than their allocation amount to meet demand will face significant surcharges (of up to four times the current average rate) estimated at $1,480 – $2,960 per acre-foot.
MWD’s allocation plan is responsive to an executive order issued on April 1, 2015 by California’s Governor, which imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory cut in urban water use. To implement the order, the State Water Resources Control Board will require California’s approximately 400 municipal water providers, including all providers in the MWD service area, to slash water use by 10 to 35 percent or face fines.
These actions follow a series of dire reports about California’s water supply conditions, including the measurement of the lowest recorded snowpack on record in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, dry conditions in the Colorado River basin and below average storage levels in reservoirs throughout the state.
Scott Slater, CEO of Cadiz Inc., issued the following statement regarding the actions taken by the MWD Board:
“California is in the midst of an historic drought and difficult times require extraordinary measures, including the MWD’s tough decision to implement allocations among its members even though these cutbacks could result in great hardship and lost opportunities. However, this hardship does not need to become a way of life and we applaud the efforts of MWD and California’s retail water agencies to develop new supplies and pursue solutions that will continue to support the state’s economy and environment. All Californians should urge innovation as we collectively redouble our efforts.
Cadiz aspires to be a part of the solution by providing a new source of reliable water in an environmentally benign manner. We look forward to bringing the Cadiz Water Project – a public-private partnership developed with many of the region’s water providers – to fruition as soon as possible.”