"It is super important for people to conserve. . . . Some of the bigger agencies down there [in South County] actually shut down [commercial] irrigation sites, but they're still seeing quite a bit of water being used on irrigation," interim assistant general manager of Mesa Consolidated Water District Coleen Monteleone said. "They shut down commercial users, but the residential users still haven't cut back as much as they should."
Although Costa Mesa and a few small areas in Newport Beach served by Mesa's groundwater would not necessarily be as affected by a shortage due to the treatment plant's closure, residents there should still be vigilant. While Mesa Consolidated gets 75% of its water from wells, the remainder is imported. Because wells too close to the ocean would have too much sea water intrusion, many areas of Newport Beach are served by outside water treatment plants.
Areas in South Orange County and Yorba Linda are having the most problems due to the plant's closure and are working on provisions to make sure their water lasts through the rest of the closure, Monteleone said.
"This is a universal message by the water agencies — this plant in Orange County is down, and everybody needs to do their own part," Monteleone said.
This has been one of the driest seasons in Southern California, with John Wayne Airport reporting 1.89 inches of rain since the start of the season, July 1. Since the beginning of the year, Newport-Mesa has received less than an inch, according to the National Weather Service.
This puts the area almost 10 inches below normal. Last year at the same time, John Wayne Airport reported a little morethan five inches of rain.