With our ongoing drought intensifying, both the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the LA Department of Water and Power issued new pleas this week for area residents to reduce their water usage. According to a statement from LADWP:
“With extreme dry conditions facing the L.A. region and the state of California, LADWP has joined with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) in calling for our customers to redouble their water-saving efforts. On August 17th, Metropolitan’s Board of Directors declared a Water Supply Alert, elevating the regional water supply condition to the second most severe status level.”
The agencies stopped short of issuing new water restrictions, but the statement said “the elevated status reflects the urgency of the water supply situation and encourages increased conservation.”
As of now, LADWP is still operating (as it has been since 2016) under Phase 2 of the City of L.A.’s Emergency Water Conservation Plan, which restricts lawn and landscape watering to three days per week.
“In the City of Los Angeles, we haven’t taken our foot off the conservation pedal. We’ve kept in place our aggressive watering restrictions, and continued to fund a slew of water-saving measures and programs that help our customers conserve water – even during wetter years,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer in a press release accompanying LADWP statement. “Now, with extremely dry conditions, we’re urging all of our customers to redouble their efforts. We’re here to support them in saving even more water.”
To help with the requested conservation efforts, LADWP is also reminding customers of its various rebate and incentive programs that can help residents save water and reduce utility bills. These include free water efficient devices such as faucet aerators and shower heads, and rebates on smart outdoor watering systems, lawn replacement and water-wise landscaping, energy-efficient appliances, variable-speed pool pumps, and other kinds of energy efficiency upgrades for your home.
According to the DWP, “Los Angeles receives most of our water (about 90% over the past five years) from the Eastern Sierra, via the city-owned Los Angeles Aqueduct, and the San Francisco Bay / Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Colorado River, purchased from Metropolitan. The remainder of our water comes from local groundwater and recycled water supplies.” So along with urging customers to conserve water, LADWP says it is also working to protect those various water sources by continuing its own recycled water use, making improvements to systems that capture storm water runoff, and “cleaning up the San Fernando groundwater basin.”
And the combination of Department and consumer efforts has already helped quite a bit over the last few years, says LADWP:
“Water use within LADWP’s service area has dropped by as much as 22% since fiscal year 2013-2014. Roughly 4 million Angelenos currently use about 40 gallons less per person per day than they did 15 years ago, even with the drier conditions.
In fact, Angelenos use less water today than they did more than 50 years ago, despite a population increase of over one million people.”
So if you’d like to pitch in and do your part, take a look at the DWP offerings above. In addition, this would also be a good time to revisit the great advice on how to make your own home landscaping more drought friendly in “Your Next Front Yard,” the Hancock Park Garden Club’s handy and super-informative guide to drought-tolerant landscaping specifically appropriate for our local historic neighborhoods.