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All of Southern California under drought emergency, according to Metropolitan Water District

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Posted at 7:46 PM, Dec 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-16 08:58:11-05

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (KGTV) — Outside of Mark Larson's home are 12 acres of blossoming Bird of Paradise. Flowers have grown on his farm since the 1960s.

"Once you get used to the country and all this open space it's hard to go back to the city," said Larson.

However, he says agriculture is disappearing from San Diego County, due in part to the cost of and access to water.

"Water is essential. It's literally the lifeblood of the farm that without it, your production decreases dramatically," said Larson.

The Metropolitan Water District of San Diego (MWD) infers that drought conditions are not expected to get any better. On Tuesday, the Board of Directors adopted a resolution declaring a drought emergency for all of Southern California.

A statement issued by MWD said in part:

If we don’t have an extremely wet winter, we will need to elevate to our highest level – a water supply allocation for all of Southern California. Substantial and immediate conservation now and in the coming months will help lessen the potential severity of such an allocation.
Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors

The resolution symbolizes a warning that the MWD might implement mandatory restrictions and fees when April 2023 arrives, if drought conditions have not improved by then.

A specialist with the San Diego County Water Authority says it is too soon to know exactly how restrictions could impact customers, noting at 13% of water across the county in 2021 came from the MWD.

"We get some years where we get more water, but then we go through a couple of years where we see this severe drought, but really scientists believe we are in a mega-drought that has been around for about 20 years," said Efren Lopez, a Water Resources Specialist.

Lopez suggests people in the county check with their local water supplier for any restrictions in place in their areas.