In what would be Southern California’s most drastic water conservation effort yet, the region’s Metropolitan Water District (MWD) announced Wednesday it may ban outdoor watering completely in some parts of the area by September if the state’s record-breaking drought conditions continue to worsen, following an order Tuesday lowering the allotted watering time to one day a week for about six million California residents.
If conditions do not improve and water use in the state is not reduced, MWD general manager Adel Hagekhalil said Wednesday the supplier could implement “unprecedented measures” by banning all outdoor watering by September in cities in several of the region’s counties—including Los Angeles County , the state’s largest.
On Tuesday, the MWD—the state’s regional wholesaler of water and the largest treated water supplier in the country—announced a water shortage emergency and adopted new restrictions for dozens of cities in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, lowering outdoor watering allowance to one day a week for about six million people beginning June 1.
The restrictions also apply to businesses such as golf courses, as well as public land such as parks, though individual member agencies from each city can elect to alter the restrictions as long as water use is reduced to around 80 gallons of water per person per day , Rebecca Kimitch, a spokesperson for the MWD, told Forbes,
Violators of the watering restriction will face a penalty of up to $2,000 per acre-foot, according to to Kimitch, though tree-watering is exempt from the restriction.