Customers would be required to reduce water irrigation from three times to twice per week
By Sam Catanzaro
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti this week announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will move to Phase 3 of its emergency water conservation plan – requiring all LADWP customers to cut the number of outdoor watering days from three to two.
“While the reduction in outdoor watering is important, it’s just one piece of our larger conservation effort – so if we want our children and grandchildren to be able to turn to the tap with confidence, we need to double down on the solutions that have made conservation a way of life in L.A.,” Garcetti said.
The transition, which requires City Council approval, would go into effect June 1. For all LADWP customers with street addresses ending in odd numbers, watering will be limited to Mondays and Fridays. For all customers with addresses ending in even numbers, watering will be limited to Thursdays and Sundays. The changes come on top of existing watering restrictions, which stipulate that customers watering with sprinklers are limited to eight minutes per use; watering with sprinklers using water conserving nozzles are limited to 15 minutes; and watering between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. is prohibited, regardless of the watering day.
Starting next month, LADWP plans to roll out an outreach and education campaign to help spread awareness of the coming changes. The Department is also planning to increase the number of its Water Conservation Response Units to issue warnings and issue citations to customers who are repeatedly out of compliance.
LADWP is also asking customers to reduce their per person use by seven gallons a day, which is the equivalent of reducing showering time by four minutes, or shutting the faucet off during a 2-minute tooth brushing cycle and 5-minute shaving cycle.
Garcetti’s announcement comes less than a week after Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz introduced a motion requesting drought emergency reports from the LADWP and the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), including focus on current and projected water supplies
The motion calls for local water resilience strategies to effectively meet the growing regionwide drought emergency, including the implementation of water conservation elements, water recycling, and watershed management approaches like stormwater capture and reuse, groundwater remediation, the use of native plants for landscaping, and turf removal programs.
“We’ve been working hard in recent years — and in the case of LADWP, successfully for decades — on longer-term solutions to water scarcity, including our major recycled water project, Operation: NEXT,” Koretz said. “The problem is, the infrastructure is not here yet. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Kill your lawns, but water your trees. We need everyone in Los Angeles to increase efforts to do their part to continue to reduce water use, from the largest businesses to the smallest homeowners.”