Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement regarding the California Department of Water Resource's announcement that State Water Project supplies this year from Northern California will be 5 percent of a full allocation:

"We are heading into the long, hot, dry summer months with the lowest allocation ever on our State Water Project supplies. The lack of available water from Northern California underscores the severity of the ongoing drought and the very, very serious need to conserve water.

"Metropolitan was fortunate to enter this drought with sizeable water reserves. But those reserves are slowly dropping as they are used by our 26 member public agencies and the 19 million people they serve. Lowering demand is the one thing each and every one of us can do to ensure that our reserves will be sufficient to withstand a drought that has no end in sight.

"Today's announcement does not materially change the historic nature of this drought and the ongoing water challenge for Southern California and all of the state. Metropolitan appreciates the challenge facing numerous state and federal agencies to manage California's remaining water resources in the most responsible and efficient manner possible."

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 19 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.