Drought status and water supply
Drought is back but Western is prepared and our customers know what to do!
While much of the state and western United States is experiencing prolonged dry conditions and declared drought, Western is prepared to provide reliable, high-quality water supply today, and always. Western, through our regional water partners and customers’ water-saving actions, has worked to save as much water as possible during wet years. As a result, the region began this year with more water in storage facilities than ever before, which means that you can count on us to meet your essential water needs.
But we need your help!
While we have water to meet your needs, we cannot be certain if we are at the end of a short drought or facing the beginning of a long-term drought. It’s up to each and every customer to stay committed to using water efficiently so that our stored, imported water will last as long as possible and keep our region ahead of the drought curve.
- What does this mean for me?
- Are there mandatory cutbacks?
- Will my bill go up?
- What do I need to do?
- Does Western offer resources to help me save water?
- What is Western doing to prepare?
The good news is Southern California residents have been here before and know what to do during times of drought–so keep it up. Thanks to our customer's water-saving efforts, we have seen residential water usage go down by nearly 40% in the last decade. We are encouraging all customers to continue using water as efficiently as possible and take advantage of all our programs to help you.
You can continue to make a big difference in securing our water supply now, and for future generations, by being as efficient as possible with your water use.
At this time, there are no mandatory cutbacks. In July 2021, Governor Newsom made formal drought declarations in many of California’s counties along with a statewide voluntary ask to reduce water use by at least 15% compared to 2020 usage. While Riverside and San Bernardino counties were not included in the formal drought declarations, we are experiencing prolonged dry conditions and encourage all customers to support the 15% voluntary water use reduction.
No, water rates will not change because of the current drought status. In the event of long-term drought conditions, you may be required to reduce your water usage and see drought fines for using water inefficiently. The best way to manage your water bill is to stay within your personalized water budget. Residential water budgets are calculated based on the number of days in the billing cycles, the number of people in your home, your irrigated landscape area, and local weather data. Learn more about your water budget by visiting, wmwd.com/WaterBudget.
It’s up to each and every customer to stay committed to using water efficiently so that we can ensure our stored supplies last as long as possible. We like to say that water use efficiency is a way of life living in the Inland Empire. We support common-sense water-use practices that many of our customers already implement in their day-to-day lives. In addition to these practices, customers are encouraged to use our various indoor and outdoor water efficiency rebates, tools, publications, and programs to help them save even more. These can all be found online at wmwd.com/Rebates.
Check out the five simple steps (located on the right) that you can take to save 15% of your water in only 15 minutes!
Like the weather, things change so we will keep you informed as drought conditions progress.
Customers have access to a variety of expanded indoor and outdoor water efficiency rebates, tools, publications, and programs to help you save even more. These can all be found on our rebates web page.
To help us through times when we do have water supply shortages, we rely on our Board-adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan to guide what kinds of actions we need customers to take. As conditions evolve, we will keep this space updated to keep you informed of how you can help and what kind of water-saving steps will be necessary.
Western thinks about your water constantly so you don’t have to. We are continuing to invest in programs and facilities to further expand water supply reliability for customers. These investments are designed to lessen the impact of prolonged droughts such as the one we are currently experiencing. Just five years ago, Western and its Riverside customers were 100 percent dependent upon water imported from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) through the State Water Project and California River Aqueduct. Today, that dependence is down to about 60 percent.
Western also has a Water Supply Shortage Contingency Plan in place to strategically reduce water consumption during drought and water supply emergencies.
Western is committed to supporting the conservation efforts in Northern California, promoting state voluntary guidelines and the One Water approach of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. This means, Western and its customers will continue to keep up the good work of saving water here in Southern California and stepping up water use efficiency efforts when needed.