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California’s Drought Conditions

Man playing with dog in his water wise garden

EMWD is currently in a Stage 3a: Water Waste Reduction

EMWD Statement on MWD Drought Actions​ Update - April 27, 2022 

Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) would like to recognize the courageous and necessary steps taken this week by the Board of Directors for The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) to implement mandatory conservation measures in response to rapidly worsening drought conditions throughout California and the western United States.

This historic step by MWD is targeted toward agencies that are most heavily dependent on imported water supplies from the State Water Project (SWP) system. Customers in SWP dependent areas will be asked to reduce outdoor irrigation to one day per week to accommodate significant reductions in water deliveries from the SWP system. This does not apply to EMWD customers due to EMWD’s access to Colorado River water.

“EMWD has proactively adopted industry-leading water budgets and invested in a diverse and sustainable local water supply portfolio,” said EMWD Board President Phil Paule. “We’ve prepared for these types of cyclical water supply shortages.”

In November 2021, EMWD moved to Stage 3a of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which asks customers to eliminate water waste and suspended variances for establishing new landscape and filling swimming pools.

As water supply conditions or state regulations evolve during the coming months, EMWD may be forced to ask more of its customers. However, at this time, we are asking that our customers continue their longstanding commitment to using water efficiently and consider more efficient landscape options. By doing so, we can all fulfill our responsibility in helping California through this unprecedented drought.

EMWD has a variety of resources, including its Landscapes for Living program, that can assist customers in becoming more efficient. EMWD also continues to encourage customers to replace turf with more sustainable landscaping, which MWD is supporting through its turf removal rebate program.

If drought conditions continue to increase in severity, additional restrictions may be implemented by the State of California.

What does Stage 3a mean?

  • No variances allowed for filling pools, establishing new landscape (except Landscapes for Living participation), or leaks not repaired within 48 hours.
  • Customers who are exceeding their water budgets are encouraged to reduce their water use by:
    • Cutting down on watering or irrigating lawns, landscapes or other vegetated areas with sprinklers by one day a week. Visit to learn more. 
    • Repairing all leaks, breaks, or other malfunctions in plumbing or distribution systems within 48 hours.
    • Refraining from filling or re-filling ornamental lakes or ponds.
    • Refraining from using potable water to wash or clean a vehicle, including but not limited to, any automobile, truck, van, bus, motorcycle, boat or trailer, whether motorized or not.

EMWD has provided a section on its website filled with tips and a toolbox of ideas for using water wisely. Customers are encouraged to visit and learn more about water saving programs and rebates.

For more information about EMWD’s response, see our Water Shortage Contingency Plan, California Drought Update Page, Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) customers Page and Frequently Asked Questions.