Speed Reads

Water Shortage

Southern California officials declare emergency drought regulations

Southern California officials announced they will be implementing an emergency water shortage regulation that will affect 6 million people in the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The unprecedented Tuesday decision came after California recorded its "most severe drought in its 126-year record" last summer, intensified by climate change, reports CNN.

To combat the water shortage, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board voted on a plan to conserve water and strictly limit "non-essential water use."

The restriction is expected to take effect June 1, and will limit outdoor watering to only one day per week for businesses and residents. Any water suppliers unwilling to comply and exceed their monthly water limits could be fined.

"We're working together to solve what is a really, really tough and, quite frankly, unprecedented issue. None of us like what we're doing. But we're in a position where we've got to do it," MWD board member Steve Blois told the Times. "The issue is, how are we going to get through this current drought without running out of water to serve the health and safety needs of our population? That has to be our No. 1 priority."

More restrictions may be introduced if the water supply continues to decrease.