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Governor Declares a Drought State of Emergency
Posted On: January 30, 2014
You have probably heard that 2013 was the driest year on record and 2014 has started with little or no rain. State water officials have recognized that California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows and snowpack is only at about 17% of the normal average for this time of year. As a result, Governor Brown has declared a drought state of emergency and called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%. The federal government has declared Los Angeles County, among 26 other counties, as a natural disaster area.
The drought is a legitimate state-wide concern but communities impacted most directly are those depending on imported surface water. Whittier has historically had sufficient local groundwater resources because it did not outgrow those resources and come to depend on imported water. The City encourages our residents to avoid abusing our water supply and to conserve voluntarily.
In early 2011, the City Council adopted an updated Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) that identifies specific conservation measures for addressing severe drought conditions. Our water supply conditions have not yet triggered any of the additional conservation measures in the plan. The City is carefully monitoring our water supply and will immediately implement the conservation measures if and when necessary. Meanwhile, we are following how the California Department of Water Resources implements the Governor’s call for voluntary 20% reductions. In short, we should take seriously the current drought conditions, but wise planning and management over the years means there is no immediate cause for alarm in Whittier.
The City is within the boundaries of the Central Basin Water District (CBWD) and Whittier residents are eligible for all the water conservation assistance that is offered through the CBWD programs www.centralbasin.org/water-conservation-facts.html. For tips on saving water inside and outside your home, please check out www.saveourh2o.org and www.centralbasin.org/water-saving-tips.html
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