Full reservoirs helped lead decision
Given California’s wet winter and ample current water supplies, all drought restrictions enacted in the past two years by the Palmdale Water District have been lifted.
The District Board of Directors voted unanimously on Monday to lift the restrictions by rescinding the Emergency Drought Regulations and the voluntary stage of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan.
“My fellow board members and I are happy to end the restrictions that have been in place for the last couple of years,” board President Don Wilson said. “We appreciate our customers who responded to our call for conservation and cut back usage by up to 20%.”
With the ample snowpack and full reservoirs, the state Department of Water Resources announced that State Water Project contractors, including PWD, will receive 100% of their allocations this year. This is the first time since 2006 that the full allocations are available. During the last three years of drought, the deliveries were drastically cut, with only 5% available last year.
With the drastic cuts to State Water Project deliveries, PWD enacted its 20% mandatory conservation rules.
PWD’s full allocation from the State Water Project is 21,300 acre-feet, or 6.7 billions of gallons of water. The district requires about 20,000 acre-feet to serve its customers.
Water from the State Water Project, delivered through the California Aqueduct, is one of the district’s three primary sources of water.
It also relies on surface water stored in the reservoir behind Littlerock Dam, which captures runoff from the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains. The reservoir has been full and has been overflowing the dam since January.
The district expects this year to use more than the approximately 3,600 acre-feet of water from the reservoir used last year, officials said.
“With more than enough water to meet our customers’ needs, this year’s ample water supply will allow us to also bank water in the Antelope Valley, meet our water transfer agreements and create new ones for the future, and still store at least 5,000 AF for next year,” PWD Resource and Analytics Supervisor Claudia Bolanos said.
Although the drought restrictions have ended, PWD customers are reminded that the District’s Water Waste Policy remains in effect. Among the policy’s requirements is the prohibition on outdoor watering within 48 hours of measurable rainfall, as well as prohibiting washing cars without an auto shutoff hose nozzle.
All 11 Water Waste Policy restrictions may be found at the District’s website, palmdalewater.org.