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SoCal Probably Has at Least Three Years of Water Left

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But we still need to conserve

The largest water supplier in Southern California announced this week it has enough water to last the next three years, even if the current drought should continue. That’s certainly encouraging, though it’s not quite as reassuring as the 25-year supply the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power optimistically says it will be able to provide in a recently-approved water management plan.

In May, the state ended mandatory water restrictions, but asked providers to undergo "stress tests" to determine whether they have a three year supply of water in reserve. The Metropolitan Water District, a wholesaler that provides much of the water for the Los Angeles region, has apparently passed that test with flying colors. On Wednesday, district officials said they're confident they'll be able to meet the demands of the 26 Southern California agencies that depend on MWD for some or all of their water supply. This includes almost 1.2 million acre-feet of water over the next three years for LADWP, the district’s thirstiest customer.

The district maintains that, though water will continue to flow for the next few years, Southern Californians shouldn’t start breaking out the Slip’N Slides and showering three times a day. The agency is focused on continuing conservation efforts to ensure it can continue to meet demand going forward.

Brandon Goshi, manager of water policy and strategy at MWD says, "Metropolitan is focused on supporting long-term water conservation and moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle." To help accomplish that goal, the district is investing $100 million over the next two years in conservation efforts and rebates for customers who employ water-saving devices. The district also rolled out a multi-lingual ad campaign last year encouraging consumers to cut back on water use.