Water shortages in Southern Californias southern coastal counties are increasing as officials are scrambling to maintain water supplies amid a severe drought.
The California Department of Water Resources has posted a water shortage advisory for several counties, including San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles, but it says the situation in Riverside is “very different” than the rest of the state.
In the northern part of the county, the advisory says, the city of Riverside, which includes the city and county of San Bernardino and includes the county of Los Angeles and San Diego, is under a severe water shortage and it is being declared a “water emergency.”
Riverside is one of the hardest hit by the drought.
The city is located on the San Fernando Valley, which sits at the center of Southern California.
In 2016, Riverside’s water rate was $1.2 million a day, or roughly $4.50 a day per person, according to the city.
In 2017, it dropped to $1 million a week, or $3.50 per day per resident.
Riversides water authority said it has taken steps to manage the situation, but in an email Friday it said it is still working to get water into the city from sources that are currently not available.
It said it will continue to provide water to residents through water conservation programs and to provide a variety of public outreach activities, including events, and that it has put in place a new program to provide bottled water to customers.
In a statement, the agency said the situation is being managed by the city’s water management department and the city has taken significant steps to address the drought, including using more efficient technology to conserve water and increasing the use of reverse osmosis water treatment.
The agency said it also is working to improve water quality in Riverside and other parts of the San Gabriel Valley.
The city also is testing its water quality and monitoring its water supply, it said.
It added that it is using “a combination of new technology, new conservation measures, and ongoing training and education.”
The agency urged people in Riverside to use tap water when possible.
The agency said residents are also encouraged to wash their hands before and after handling water.