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Drought Cuts Southern California Water Access by 95%

Jeff Caldwell 04/21/2014 @ 2:53pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

The drought is bad in the nation's center. Crops are hurting, and there's a lot of anxiety heading into summer.

It's nothing, though, compared to the dire circumstances facing farmers and general residents in California, where the drought has been worse. Now, the state's tightly controlled water supply has dwindled to the point that parts of that parched state are looking at receiving just 5% of their normal allocations.

In southern California, officials are bracing for the worst once summer rolls around. Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issued a statement late last week calling upon residents to do what they can to cut back water use, and he asked officials to work together to maximize what small supply of water the state's residents will likely have access to this summer.

“We are heading into the long, hot, dry summer months with the lowest allocation ever on our State Water Project supplies. The lack of available water from northern California underscores the severity of the ongoing drought and the very, very serious need to conserve water. Metropolitan was fortunate to enter this drought with sizable water reserves. But those reserves are slowly dropping as they are used by our 26-member public agencies and the 19 million people they serve. Lowering demand is the one thing each and every one of us can do to ensure that our reserves will be sufficient to withstand a drought that has no end in sight," Kightlinger said. “Today’s announcement does not materially change the historic nature of this drought and the ongoing water challenge for southern California and all of the state. Metropolitan appreciates the challenge facing numerous state and federal agencies to manage California’s remaining water resources in the most responsible and efficient manner possible.”

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