California drought: Los Angeles watering restrictions approved by City Council

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Water conservation measures announced earlier this month by Mayor Eric Garcetti were approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, confirming that outdoor watering in the city will be limited to two days a week based on mailing addresses starting June 1.

The restrictions, approved by a 13-0 vote, are more lenient than the one-day limit ordered earlier by Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District for areas that rely on water from the State Water Project.

“It’s actually less strict than what the other nearby water districts are going to, where they only go one day a week,” Garcetti said May 10 when announcing the measures for a house of Eagle Rock where the resident recently installed drought-friendly landscaping.

“The Angelenos have done more. In the city of Los Angeles, we have done more, so we don’t have to see a risk of plants dying or going one day a week because of all the things we let’s do collectively and we’re done.”

From one week, outdoor watering will be limited to two days a week, compared to three currently, watering being authorized at odd addresses on Mondays and Fridays, and at even addresses on Thursdays and Sundays.

Sprinkler irrigation will be limited to eight minutes per station.

Sprinklers fitted with water-saving nozzles will be limited to 15 minutes per station.

All watering should be done in the evening or early morning, with no watering permitted outside between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“We were given two paths … and we chose path two, to go with a budgeted volumetric limit for the city of Los Angeles,” said David Pettijohn, director of water resources for the Department of Water and Environmental Services. Los Angeles Electricity. “While most other agencies affected by this need to limit their outdoor watering to one day to comply, we believe that in the city of LA we can comply with watering two days a week, and that’s thanks to the tireless efforts of our customers to make conservation a way of life here in Los Angeles.”

The city also urged residents with swimming pools to use pool covers to reduce the risk of evaporation and called on people to wash their vehicles only at commercial car wash facilities.

The city’s water restrictions will be enforced by the Conservation Response Unit, which will focus on areas that use the most water, according to DWP chief executive and chief engineer Marty Adams. He said the department will reassign employees to provide coverage in all areas of the city and may hire additional staff over the summer.

LEARN MORE | More water restrictions planned this summer

Enforcement will begin with educating people who violate the order, but will escalate with fines and tickets where necessary.

Penalties begin with a written warning, then $200 for a second written violation, $400 for a third written violation, and $600 for a fourth written violation.

“Beyond that, we have the ability to put rate limiters for people to use if they’re reluctant and non-compliant, and we also have the ultimate ability to terminate the service if someone only violates the order,” Pettijohn said.

Adams reiterated to City Council on Wednesday that the department has issued “very few fines in past droughts,” saying people are generally happy to comply with the restrictions.

Over the past four years, the department has issued 552 citations, of which only 15 resulted in fines, according to Pettijohn.

Meanwhile, starting June 1, many people outside the city of Los Angeles will be limited to one watering day per week, as announced by the MWD on April 26.

This restriction will apply to district member agencies that rely heavily on supplies from the State Water Project, but the agency has called on all Southern California residents and businesses to reduce water use by 30% to combat the drought conditions “unlike anything we’ve experienced”. before.”

MWD member agencies that fail to meet the requirement with their clients will face fines of up to $2,000 per acre-foot of water supplied by MWD that exceeds the monthly allowance limits.

LEARN MORE | State water board passes watering ban on some green spaces as drought drags on

The National Water Resources Board of Control voted on Tuesday to ban the watering of non-functioning lawns in commercial, industrial and institutional properties.

The ban – which does not include turf in residences or turf used for recreational or community purposes – will come into effect once approved by the Office of Administrative Law, which usually takes about 10 days, according to the council.

Violations would result in a fine of up to $500.

In recent months, the DWP has been urging customers to take advantage of its rebates to make water conservation transitions less expensive, including for people replacing their lawns with durable, drought-tolerant landscaping.

Residential and commercial customers can get $3 per square foot of sod up to 5,000 square feet, and government agencies can get $4 per square foot up to 200,000 square feet of sod.

The agency also gives a $6 discount for rotating sprinkler nozzles.

Residential customers can also receive rebates of $500 for purchases of high-efficiency clothes washers and $250 for purchases of water-efficient toilets.

According to the DWP, the most efficient appliances can reduce water usage by more than 11,000 gallons per year. Rebate-eligible toilets use approximately 30% less water than standard models.

DWP commercial customers can receive $300 rebates for low-flow toilets, which previously had a $250 rebate. Bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators and high-efficiency showerheads are available free of charge.

Owners of multi-family, commercial and industrial buildings who install large-scale water conservation systems can also receive a $2 million incentive, which was increased earlier this year by $250,000.

The Technical Assistance Program incentive is available for pre-approved cooling towers, recirculating systems, recycling microfiltration systems, and other upgrades that reduce potable water consumption by at least 50,000 gallons over two years.

More information is available on the LADWP website.

In recent weeks, officials have also tried to stress the need to protect Los Angeles trees during drought and restrictions, noting that they provide significant health and quality of life benefits.

Trees can capture rainwater, improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding, while contributing to air quality and the impact of heat waves.

“Trees provide so many benefits to the quality of life and our environment,” Public Works Board Chairwoman Aura Garcia said Tuesday. “But as we navigate this time to reduce water use in a variety of ways, we want to share this important information for residents to help maintain and preserve trees in their yards, while conserving water. ”

The Department of Public Works has urged people to add mulch to their trees and slowly soak their mature trees once a month, especially between June and September.

People should also keep a close eye on trees that were used to getting water three times a week.

People should also avoid pruning and fertilizing their trees during hot, dry months, the department said.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

Copyright © 2022 by City News Service, Inc. All rights reserved.

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