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Following dry iciness, water utilization being limited in California

LOS ANGELES, California: In southern California, some 6 million people must cut their outdoor watering to one day a week due to an extended drought that has hit the state following another dry winter.

This week, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a water shortage emergency and is requiring certain cities and water agencies to implement the cutback on 1st June. Failure to enforce its order could lead to heavy fines.

“We do not have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand. The water is not there,” said District spokesperson Rebecca Kimitch.

The restrictions will apply to areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, that rely mostly on state water supplied through the district, including some parts of the city of Los Angeles.

Additionally, Adel Hagekhalil, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said limiting the use of water for yards, plants and cleaning cars aims to save water now for indoor use later in the summer, when water use increases.

January, February and March of this year were the driest three months in recorded state history, in terms of rainfall and snowfall, Kimitch added.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has asked people around the state to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 15 percent, but residents have been slow to meet that goal.

Meanwhile, the board of the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Northern California voted to reduce water usage by 10 percent and cap daily usage for some 1.4 million customers in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, including Oakland and Berkeley.

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The Metropolitan Water District will monitor water use and could order a total ban on outdoor watering in affected areas by September if restriction do not work.

According to scientists, the boom-and-bust weather cycle that causes longer and more droughts is driven by climate change.