Los Angeles Aqueduct
Following through on promises made during a recent visit by Gov. Jerry Brown, the Metropolitan Water District board officially declared a water supply alert this week and doubled its budget for conservation and public-outreach programs aimed at encouraging people to reduce their water use. The alert serves as a message to Southern California cities, counties, public water agencies and retailers to step up conservation efforts. ``These are unprecedented conditions that require everyone's assistance,'' MWD board chairman John V. Foley said. ``Time and again, residents and businesses have stepped up when asked to conserve, and as a region, we've steadily decreased individual consumption because Southern Californians have incorporated efficient water use into their everyday lives.'' The board agreed to increase its conservation and outreach budget from $20 million to $40 million. Officials said the increase will provide rebate incentives for residents to purchase water-saving household devices. Brown declared a statewide drought emergency last month, and during a meeting with Southland water executives, MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger outlined steps the agency planned to take to address the issue. Brown has set a goal of a 20 percent reduction in water use. ``We are taking an aggressive approach to lowering water use because Southern California must lead by example and take a statewide approach to this challenge,'' Kightlinger said. ``California is one state. We all have an obligation to do our part and conserve water.'' The MWD includes 26 cities and water agencies that serve nearly 19 million people in six Southern California counties.