Santa Monica considers how to handle water shortages

Santa Monica’s City Council considers a formal plan to respond to water shortages tonight. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports that conservation has the city in good shape.

Santa Monica’s City Council considers a formal plan to respond to water shortages tonight. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports that conservation has the city in good shape.

Molly Peterson: Santa Monica gets water from the Metropolitan Water District. Facing drought, low rainfall, and limited supplies from other parts of California, the district voted to cut how much water it delivers to customers like Santa Monica, and to charge penalties for overuse.

The water shortage response plan gives the city council the authority to declare an emergency and the power to ration water. Santa Monica public works isn’t recommending limits – but the city council is considering an advisory declaration. City officials say they’ve planned for dry times.

For almost two years, Santa Monica has asked its people to use 20 fewer gallons each day. If everyone did it, that 20-gallon challenge would add up to a 10 percent reduction in the city. Since August 2007, Santa Monica has almost done that – the city’s public works department reports that water demand is down by 9 percent.

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