By Erin Herriford
LEIMERT PARK — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is holding a two-day landscape transformation workshop in Leimert Park May 14 and 21 to show residents how to transform their lawns into a landscaped garden with drought-resistant plants.
The workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday. Among the subjects to be discussed are removing turf without chemicals, sheet mulching for a healthy soil, capturing rainwater, working with California-friendly and native plants and installing drip irrigation.
The workshops come in the wake of Mayor Eric Garcetti issuing an order requiring all Department of Water and Power customers to cut the number of outdoor watering days from three days a week to two days.
“Los Angeles didn’t just become one of the most water efficient cities in the world overnight — but regardless of how much we’ve already done, today is about recognizing how much further we have to go,” Garcetti said. “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.”
The order, which requires City Council approval, will take effect June 1.
For all DWP customers with street addresses ending in odd numbers, watering will be limited to Mondays and Fridays. For 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 at a time; and watering between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. is prohibited, regardless of the watering day.
Starting next month, the DWP plans to roll out an outreach and education campaign to help spread awareness of the coming changes. The department also is planning to increase the number of its water conservation response units, which are teams in the field to provide warnings and issue citations to customers who are out of compliance.
Garcetti also highlighted nearly 20 water rebates offered by the DWP that have allowed Los Angeles to become what he called one of the most water-efficient cities in the country.
“We know that when called upon, Angelenos not only do their part to conserve, but they step up as leaders in conservation,” said Cynthia McClain-Hill, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “So today, we are asking all of our customers to lean in harder this summer to save more water. A little less water use by everyone adds up to a lot more water available to get us through the summer and into next winter.”
The DWP also is 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 two-minute tooth brushing cycle and five-minute shaving cycle.
“In selecting the option offered by the Metropolitan Water District to go on a water budget, we believe we can manage our system to meet the limitations in water delivery by going to two-days-a-week watering, while giving customers recognition for the significant conservation efforts they have already made for over a decade,” said DWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams.
Since Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, DWP customers have saved an estimated 256 billion gallons of water— enough water to fill the Los Angeles Coliseum over 900 times. The DWP also has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its rebate programs, and in addition to the increases of the washers and toilets rebate last year, is continuing to look for ways to expand its current programs.
The landscaping workshops in Leimert Park the next two Saturdays will help residents learn more ways to conserve water around the house
Those planning to attend should wear work clothes (clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty), bring their own snacks, wear sunscreen, bring a hat, and gardening or work gloves and wear a disposable mask.
To register, visit eventbrite.com/e/landscape-transformation-hands-on-workshops may-14-21-leimert-park-registration.