SANTA CLARITA VALLEY ( — California’s drought is taking a major toll on the Santa Clarita Valley.

Water officials said they’ve had to shut down some of the wells that supply water for home and businesses because they’re drying up.

CBS2/KCAL9’s Laurie Perez spoke to one company that’s turning to its back-up reservoir and warning customers that it can’t last forever.

Mauricio Guardado, the retail manager for the Santa Clarita Water Division, said the time to do more is now.

“We’re in drought conditions of epic proportions,” Guardado said.

SCWD is one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s three big water retailers. They get their water from local wells and imported from the California aqueduct via the Castaic Water Agency, and both sources are running low.

Guardado’s company has had to shut down one of its 15 wells. And they’ve drastically reduced the amount of water pumping into the others from about 900 gallons each a minute to roughly half that.

He said the company, for the first time in nearly a decade, has had to tap into a last-resort water supply: “Our second groundwater storage is rather full and that’s what we’re primarily extracting from to transfer to areas that don’t have enough.”

Guardado said the reserve basin has enough water to help for a few years. But the drought has already lasted three years, with no end in sight.

Officials are urging consumers to consider replacing grass with turf, monitoring leaks and getting a usage audit to see how to save water at home.

Like many Santa Clarita Valley families, the Juaregun’s try to do whatever they can to save water, which includes taking shorter showers, turning off they faucet when they wash dishes, but admit there’s room to do more.

Gustavo Juaregun said, “She noticed one of the lawns was brown and she asked about it, and I said, ‘Well, with the water shortage that we’re having a lot of people have to cut back. And a lot of our lawns are going to look a little more brown as we go along.'”

Water rates haven’t increased yet but Guardado said that if residents don’t do more to conserve the only way he could see them taking their usage seriously is to hit their pocketbook.

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