Metropolitan to launch concentrated region-wide water conservation advertising campaign

May 29, 2007
As record dry conditions grip the region, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California today announced an intensive, region-wide radio advertising campaign aimed at offering consumers easy-to-follow examples of how they can save water and stretch supplies. Launching Memorial Day (Monday, May 28) through traffic report spots on 91 radio stations throughout the Southland, Metropolitan's concentrated five-week campaign encourages consumers to conserve water by offering...

• Starting Memorial Day, district to employ radio traffic report spots to deliver water-saving messages to consumers through June

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 25, 2007 -- As record dry conditions grip the region, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California today announced an intensive, region-wide radio advertising campaign aimed at offering consumers easy-to-follow examples of how they can save water and stretch supplies.

Launching Memorial Day (Monday, May 28) through traffic report spots on 91 radio stations throughout the Southland, Metropolitan's concentrated five-week campaign encourages consumers to conserve water by offering a variety of simple tips for inside and outside the home, such as shortening shower times and reducing outdoor watering cycles. The "Let's Save" campaign directs listeners to log onto "bewaterwise.com" for more water-saving instructions.

"You don't need a crystal ball to predict that our future depends on using water wisely and efficiently today," said Metropolitan board Chairman Timothy F. Brick.

With rainfall figures in the Los Angeles Basin region at the lowest levels in recorded history dating to 1877, Brick said the region's water supply situation is complicated by dry conditions in the Colorado River and Northern California watersheds supplying imported water to Southern California.

"Despite these parched conditions, we plan to meet demands for imported water by our 26 member public agencies this year because of the investments Southern California has made in water management and storage projects since the last drought. However, we understand that every drop of water saved this summer is a drop of water that can be stored for next year and beyond," Brick said.

To meet imported water demands in 2007, Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger said the district plans to maximize available deliveries from the Colorado River and Northern California via the State Water Project, as well as dip into stored reserves by as much as 500,000 acre-feet. It will be Metropolitan's largest use of reserves since the district began expanding its storage capacity after the last major drought of 1987-92, he said.

"Even with today's conditions, Southern California is much better prepared to deal with dry years than the region was during the last 1987-92 drought," Kightlinger said. "Today, more than half of our water demands are met through conservation, water recycling and the recovery of contaminated groundwater."

In addition to better water resources, Metropolitan also has invested in storage projects and programs. Over the past 15 years, Metropolitan has developed a unique water storage capacity spread out over a large expanse of Southern California in both surface and underground reservoirs, Kightlinger said.

"Today, we have more than 2.5 million acre-feet in surface and groundwater storage accounts, including Diamond Valley Lake. As a comparison, during the last six-year drought, Southern California only had 225,000 acre-feet of water stored at one time," he explained, noting that an acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, about the amount of water used by two typical Southland families in a year.

Traffic report messages in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese will run on 91 radio stations spanning Metropolitan's 5,200-square-mile service area, from Ventura to the Mexican border. Information provided on "bewaterwise.com" includes handy water-saving tips and tools, such as how to solve the mystery of programming outdoor sprinkler systems to be more water efficient and where to find rebates for conservation devices.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 18 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

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