Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles residents set another water conservation record in the month of July, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced Aug. 8.
The 11% reduction in water usage compared to the previous July was a record for any July on record in Los Angeles. That topped a 9% reduction in the month of June, which was also the lowest water use for any June on record.
“I want to thank each and every one of our customers, from renters to homeowners to small and large businesses alike,” said Martin Adams, DWP general manager and chief engineer. “It’s because of their continued efforts that we are seeing these record numbers in water conservation.”
The reduction follows new water restrictions that went into effect June 1. They included restricting outdoor watering to two days per week, down from three, with watering permitted at odd-numbered street addresses on Mondays and Fridays, and at even-numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays.
The DWP also saw an increase in complaints about potential water waste. The Water Conservation Response Unit saw more than 2,000 water waste reports in July compared to approximately 1,860 in June.
“The increase in water waste complaints we have received shows people are conscientious when it comes to water waste that they see in their communities and we are grateful to them for being our eyes and ears because we can’t do it alone,” said Anselmo Collins, senior assistant general manager of the Water System for the DWP. “We certainly are going in the right direction when it comes to water conservation.”
This is the third straight year that Los Angeles has been in a drought, with this January through March marking the driest three months on record.
Key water sources such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell are only at a quarter of normal capacity. Lake Oroville and the San Luis Reservoir in Northern California are at 41% and 32% of normal capacity, respectively.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to the DWP, could only purchase 100,000 acre-feet of water from the California State Water Project this year — 5% of the amount that is normally allocated. In typical years, the district gets close to 2 million acre-feet of water from the project.
“Consequently, we are in a pretty significant, dire situation,” Collins said.
Collins met recently with Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was encouraged by the water-saving numbers in Los Angeles.
“He always has an option to implement mandatory reduction,” Collins said of Newsom. “And he’s holding off on that because he’s seeing the great progress that all the agencies are making.”
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell called Los Angeles’ new water restrictions a “smash success.”
“I don’t like trafficking in generalizations, but I’ll say it again: Angenelos are conservationists by nature,” O’Farrell said. “It’s in our blood. So when we are given a task to conserve, then we collectively pitch in. So, really, job well done.”