LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The planning committee for the Metropolitan Water District has approved a 15 percent reduction in water deliveries to agencies across Southern California.

KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the proposal from the board committee of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) would reduce the amount of water it delivers to more than two dozen cities and agencies in the wake of an ongoing drought.

“What the governor wants us to do will be challenging but as I look at Southern California, I still see opportunities for conservation,” Randy Record, the MWD Board Chairman, said.

With the backing of the Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, the full MWD board will consider the proposal Tuesday.

Committee member Robert Wunderlich, who represents Beverly Hills, said he advocated for even deeper cuts of 20 percent – a proposal which ultimately fell flat – as a way to press the need for people to conserve.

“This is a good time to support the ingraining within people having a more sustainable lifestyle going forward in regard to water usage,” he said.

The amount of the cut would be based on each agency’s reliance on MWD supplies while also taking into consideration conservation actions already being implemented. Cities and agencies that use more than their MWD allocation would have to pay punitive costs ranging from $1,480 to $2,960 per acre-foot of water. An acre-foot is roughly the amount of water needed to serve two households for a year.

The MWD action would “implement surcharges on member agencies that don’t reduce their deliveries in order to achieve a roughly 15 percent reduction in regional deliveries,” according to an MWD staff report.

MWD officials said that in addition to limiting the amount of water it supplies to its members, it will also move ahead with efforts including expanded media campaigns to encourage conservation, working with the state for funding of rebate and conservation-incentive programs, and monthly tracking of its members’ usage rates to ensure compliance.

Adopting restrictions on water deliveries “is consistent with actions taken by our member agencies and retail agencies and will assist in public outreach efforts to communicate the severity of the current drought and the need for conservation in managing through the drought,” according to the MWD report.

Pending the full board’s approval, the cuts would be implemented this summer.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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