Faced with drought conditions and no relief from rain until possibly the fall, the Palmdale Water District (PWD) has adopted Stage 1 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP), which seeks voluntary conservation from customers.

PWD’s board of directors unanimously voted this week to enact the initial phase of the WSCP to ensure that there continues to be enough supply for nearly 117,000 people who depend daily on PWD to provide water. Effective immediately, customers are urged to use 15 percent less water at their homes and businesses.

“It is important that each and every one of us do our part and cut back at least 15 percent of our daily water use,” said Board Director Vincent Dino. “We’ve had two consecutive dry winters, and we need to protect the water supply. Let’s make sure we use less water outdoors and be aware of how long we run the tap.”

As part of Stage 1 of the WSCP, PWD will increase conservation outreach, enforce water-waste rules, alert high water users, emphasize rebate programs that can help customers, and consider implementing a drought factor. The drought factor would reduce the outdoor water allocation (Tier 2 and above) to match the 15 percent reduction goal. The Tier 1 water allocation, which provides each resident with 55 gallons per person per day, would not be affected.

According to PWD Resource and Analytics Director Peter Thompson Jr., it is estimated that 22,200 acre-feet of water will be needed to meet demands and for evaporative losses in 2021. Supplies from PWD’s three water sources – State Water Project, Littlerock Reservoir and groundwater wells – are expected to meet this year’s needs. If conservation hits 15n percent, it will generate water that could be saved for next year.

“If we can have our customers conserve water now, there will be more water to provide us a buffer for 2022,” Thompson said. “We want to make sure that we keep a supply in reserve in case next year is also dry.”

For more information about PWD, visit www.palmdalewater.org.