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Drought Emergency Has Some LA Residents Curbing Their Water Consumption

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -  After the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a drought emergency Tuesday, many residents are taking a look at their own water consumption.

"We've barely had any rain at all this year so far in '21," said water conscious resident Pete White. "I know we're in a state of emergency and everyone has to do their part."

Drought 1
(credit: CBS)

Across the city, it's not difficult to walk down residential streets and see who is doing their part to conserve water usage.

"It looks fine. It's finally grown in," said Tony Landler, who took out his lawn five years ago with drought friendly plants. "It's finally taking less water."

Landler said now he only waters three times a week for 15 minutes each time and has cut his water bill by 20%.

"My wife is on a campaign to water less, but I don't want to water too much less because I don't want to lose the plants we have," he said.

It's steps like this that conservation experts would like to see in every yard.

RELATED: Southern California's Main Water Supplier Declares Regional Drought Emergency

Brad Coffey leads the water resource management department for the Metropolitan Water District, the region's water wholesaler.

"The situation we're in today is unprecedented. It's more significant than the drought in the 70s or a few years ago," he said.

The state water project, which used to supply 30% of Southern Californians with their water only gave 5% this year, and according to Coffey may provide none next year.

With most people turning the faucet and seeing water, Coffey was asked if he thinks people understands what it means to be in a drought emergency?

"That's a great point and it shows us how reliable water always is and water is that reliable because we take these types of steps," Coffey said.

So, 30 cities in Southern California are being asked to curb their consumption. The City of Los Angeles has had water restrictions since 2009 and, recently, officials said additional patrols to enforce the rules will be deployed. A full list of the regulations can be found here.

"Just common sense. You don't have to flush the toilet every time," said one water conscious resident.

"Like dishwashing and letting the water run, taking a bath and letting the tub come to the top, how about about a half tub?" said Catherine Taylor.

It's steps like these that conservation experts said will keep the water flowing for years to come.

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