Imported water supplier passes state’s ‘stress-test,’ relies on
continued conservation amid ongoing drought
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California today released
results of an analysis demonstrating it has sufficient water supplies to
meet the demand of its member agencies over the next three years, thanks
in large part to successful water conservation by Southland residents.
After the State Water Resources Control Board ended mandatory emergency
conservation in May 2016, it asked water agencies to instead demonstrate
whether they have sufficient supplies for the next three years, assuming
the drought continues. Under the new regulations, if an agency has a
shortfall, it must cut water use by that amount through January 2017.
“This so-called ‘stress test’ asked if we can provide water for our
member agencies for the next three years, and our answer is yes,” said
Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “To provide that
assurance, we have invested to diversify our water portfolio with some
of the nation’s largest conservation programs, more storage, and ongoing
efforts to improve reliability of imported water supplies.”
While Metropolitan’s stress-test results mean it will not be forced into
mandatory conservation, long-term conservation remains a key pillar of
its water supply reliability plan. By 2040, conservation and recycling
will account for one-third of Metropolitan’s water portfolio according
to its Integrated Water Resources Plan which was updated in January and
guides the agency’s long-term water management policies.
“Metropolitan is focused on supporting long-term water conservation and
moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle,” said Brandon Goshi, manager
of water policy and strategy. “Rather than look to water rationing as a
solution in dry years, we are focused on how to be reliable every year.”
To that end, Metropolitan has invested nearly $1 billion over the past
25 years to develop drought-resilient local supplies, increase water
conservation and reduce per capita water use.
In April, Metropolitan’s board of directors approved an investment of
$100 million over the next two years for conservation programs and
rebates for permanent water-saving devices. In May, the board declared a
Water Supply Alert calling for continued awareness and reinforced
conservation throughout the district’s 5,200-square-mile service area.
The stress-test is based on a careful analysis of anticipated
conditions, taking into account water supply challenges such as the
ongoing drought, uncertainty regarding imported water deliveries from
Northern California via the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, and
limitations on the Colorado River.
“We are constantly assessing conditions to ensure we have sufficient
supplies,” Kightlinger said. “That said, if we have an exceptional drop
in supplies, or an unusual spike in demand, we will absolutely turn to
our other tools, such as our allocation plan, to ensure that we maintain
Water supply wholesalers are required to provide projections on the
amount of water they expect to deliver to retailers based on a
three-year water supply projection that assumes current supply
conditions plus an assumed hydrology based on the 2013, 2014 and 2015
water years, and a total potable water demand based on the supplier’s
average annual total potable water production for 2013 and 2014.
Metropolitan’s water supply projections are posted on our website
Metropolitan’s member agencies and other urban water retailers are
required to self-certify their water supply using a three-year water
supply projection starting with current supply conditions plus an
assumed hydrology based on the 2013, 2014 and 2015 water years, and
submit that information to the state board by June 22, 2016.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a
state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving
nearly 19 million people in six counties. The
district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California
to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased
water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
213-217-6450; 202-821-5253, mobile
Bob Muir, 213-217-6930;