SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- It may be fall but the month of November was among the driest and warmest in California, setting the state up for a third year of drought.
The worsening drought has prompted the state's Department of Water Resources to announce it will allocate zero water to its 29 contract water districts next year.
"This is a wakeup call for all of us. We need to step up our efforts. We need to save every drop," said Adel Hagekhalil, general manager with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is just one of a few agencies that will receive a small supply of water for health and safety needs. Some of its member agencies like Calleguas Municipal Water District relies heavily on state supplied water for residents in southeast Ventura County.
"We need to do what we can to conserve water supplies. The situation is fairly urgent to do so, but we need to at least hopefully meet a 15% cutback of water usage compared to last year in 2020," said Dan Drugan, Manager of Resources at Calleguas Municipal Water District.
The shortage of water will trickle down to customers who will likely face a restrictions on the amount of water they use. For now, agencies are urging them to cut back.
"The majority of residential water use goes towards the irrigating of outdoor landscapes almost 70% of total water usage," said Drugan.
That's where many homeowners can make a sizable dent in their water usage and bill, according to landscape expert Erika Santillan.
"We've tried to design a lot of drought tolerant and sustainable plants in our designs," said Santillan, CEO of Inland Garden & Tropics.
She often recommends utilizing rebates offered by local water agencies.
"I know that when we do a lot design. We like to promote that and we sometimes help them do the research so they can have a more sustainable garden and it will help them save money as well," she said.
Despite a zero-water allocation from the state, it doesn't mean taps will be running dry.
"We are working with our member agencies to move water around. The water we have available we to stretch it as much as we can so we can continue providing water for everyone," said Hagekhalil.
The state water board will revisit water allocations in next spring.