You may have heard that the governor has declared a drought emergency for California. The idea of running out of water can be a scary thought, but it's important for our customers to not be afraid.

Mesa Water District is prepared.

The condition of California's water supply is serious and indeed at a historic low. Some regions, mostly in Northern California and the Central Valley, are in mandatory conservation. Please be extra careful with your water use.

Here in Southern California, and especially in Mesa Water's service area, customers have been investing in conservation tools and local infrastructure projects for decades to help reduce our regional dependence on imported water. Thanks to thoughtful leadership, we can find comfort in the fact that our local water supplies are not currently affected by the drought.

We're fortunate here in the Mesa Water area to be able to pump safe, high-quality groundwater from both the Orange County groundwater basin and the lower, amber-colored basin. Our board of directors set a goal two decades ago to increase conservation and production of groundwater and recycled water at Mesa Water to eliminate our need for water from Northern California and the Colorado River.

The recently completed Mesa Water Reliability Facility expansion was the final step for Mesa Water to eliminate our dependence on imported water by meeting 100% of customer water needs with local supplies.

Mesa Water now provides high-quality local water, using less electricity than is needed to import water from hundreds of miles away, and maintains a rate structure that is predictable and reasonable. This achievement should be a source of pride for all of us.

Though our local water supplies are not affected by the drought, it's always a good idea to use water efficiently. If you're looking for ways to reduce water use in your home or business, please give us a call at (949) 631-1200. Mesa Water's customer service and public affairs staff can help you with rebates, water-education programs, water-use efficiency workshops and tours of our facility.

On behalf of Mesa Water District's board and staff, I'd like to thank you for supporting past, current and future investments in local water reliability. We're in a good position today, thanks to the decisions our boards of directors have made, with your support, to invest in regular, ongoing improvements in infrastructure and water-use efficiency.

PAUL SHOENBERGER is the general manager of the Mesa Water District.

[For the record, 10:01 a.m. Feb. 24: An earlier version misspelled Paul Shoenberger's last name in the tagline.]