Beginning today, residents and businesses in west Los Angeles and south Ventura counties will be asked to reduce their water use while a regional water treatment plant is shut down through the weekend for drought-related upgrades.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California joined the Calleguas Municipal Water District and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in making the water-saving request -- which includes refraining from outdoor watering -- as the MWD prepares to take its Joseph Jensen Water Treatment Plant in Granada Hills out of service.
During the shutdown, Metropolitan plans to make some physical modifications to the local distribution system so supplies from the Colorado River can be delivered to the area.
The shutdown was scheduled to begin at 12:01 this morning, with water deliveries resuming by noon on Sunday. During that period, Las Virgenes and Calleguas will rely on limited stored local supplies to maintain deliveries, "making conservation and reduced demands an essential component of maintaining reliability," according to the MWD.
West Los Angeles County cities in Las Virgenes' service area include Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Westlake Village as well as the communities of Agoura, Chatsworth, Lake Manor, Malibu Lake, Monte Nido and West Hills.
South Ventura County cities in Calleguas' service area are Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Port Hueneme, along with the communities of Camarillo Heights, Las Posas Valley, Oak Park, Santa Rosa Valley, Lake Sherwood, Point Mugu and Somis.
Calleguas officials noted the aesthetic quality of tap water may be affected to varying degrees within their service area because the reduction in imported water deliveries may require increased use of groundwater within the region.
Areas affected by the temporary shutdown usually receive imported water delivered exclusively from Northern California via the State Water Project and treated at the Jensen plant. one of five such treatment facilities within Metropolitan's distribution system.
"However, because drought conditions have severely limited SWP supplies to only 5 percent of contracted deliveries in 2014, Metropolitan is making adjustments to its distribution system to deliver its Colorado River water supplies into areas of the Southland that do not typically receive them," according to an MWD statement.
Metropolitan typically schedules shutdowns of its facilities in winter months, when temperatures usually are cooler and demands are lower, to complete inspections and perform maintenance and upgrades with the least impact on consumers.
Because of the drought and the immediate need to make adjustments to Metropolitan's system, local agencies did not have the usual six- to eight- month lead time to coordinate their water supply and storage options, according to Debra C. Man, MWD's assistant general manager and chief operating officer.
"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. That's certainly what the current drought is showing us," she said Tuesday. "The drought is challenging us to find creative ways to meet demands through conservation and delivery system enhancements."
Water officials said those in the affected areas should avoid:
- Hand-washing vehicles
- Filling swimming pools or spas
- Hosing down driveways and sidewalks
Other water-saving measures include:
- Running only full loads in washing machines and dishwashers
- Not leaving the tap running when washing dishes
- Keeping showers to a maximum of five minutes
- Not leaving the water running while brushing teeth or shaving
--City News Service