Western prepared to supply reliable water during dry conditions by Western Municipal Water District Jul 16, 2021 Member Submitted News RIVERSIDE – Western Municipal Water District (Western) is assuring its customers that we are prepared to meet our regions’ water supply needs, even during prolonged dry conditions. “Thanks to sound planning and proactive investments, Western is well-prepared to deliver safe, reliable high-quality water,” said General Manager Craig Miller. “Although we’ve had less rain and snow in the last year, Western has been planning and preparing every day for the dry climate and future droughts.” Western has been proactively investing in water storage through its imported water provider–the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California—so customers can have access to the highest quality water whenever it is needed. As a regional leader in developing more local, reliable water sources, Western has also been securing a local supply network to reduce reliance on costly imported water. These proactive efforts improve Western’s ability to meet the water and wastewater service demands of its community. Just five years ago, Western and its Riverside customers were 100 percent dependent upon water imported from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) through the State Water Project and California River Aqueduct. Today, that dependence is down to about 60 percent. Western is connecting the drops across the region and investing in critical infrastructure to improve resiliency and diversify waters supply sources. Through the completion of an interconnected system to capture stormwater and recharge groundwater basins, Western can deliver safe, clean water to wholesale, residential and business customers. These projects have included the Victoria Recharge Basin, Sterling Pump Reservoir and Pump Station, La Sierra Pipeline and the North Well. “This local supply stabilizes costs and increases reliability for our customers, especially during an emergency,” said Miller. In the past two decades, Western customers have reduced water use by more than 40 percent per person, per day. At the same time, Western has expanded its efforts to promote efficient outdoor landscaping and irrigation, with more programs anticipated to be announced later this month. “We are no stranger to drought and dry climate in Southern California—our customers know what to do and how to work together to use less water,” said Western’s Board President Director Brenda Dennstedt. “Hats off to our customers for continuing their efforts so that we have sufficient supplies to last us now and into the future. We need you to keep it up.” Western’s investments in supply reliability and partnerships with MWD and regional water providers, combined with customers’ continued efforts to use water wisely, means that Western is in a solid position to meet our customers’ needs this year. Still, we must continue to plan for the future by working with Statewide leaders to address the region’s specific water needs. On July 8, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom asked all Californians for a 15 percent voluntary reduction in water use and expanded drought declarations to 50 of California’s 58 counties. Riverside County is not yet under a drought declaration. Western is currently in Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan. Stage 2 is a “water supply alert,” calling for Western’s retail customers to continue voluntarily reducing water use by 4 percent. Western encourages customers to focus their efficiency efforts on outdoor irrigation, where most water savings can be realized. For more information about how you can save water, visit wmwd.com/waterwise.