For the past three years, California has faced severe drought conditions. Snowfall in the Sierras has been below normal, and court imposed environmental restrictions on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have reduced water imports to Southern California. As a result, we need to take new steps to conserve water, and we need to pay more attention to our outdoor water use.
Starting today, mandatory water conservation measures take effect that restrict landscape watering with automatic sprinklers to Mondays and Thursdays, before 9:00 am and after 4:00 pm. Watering by hand with a flow-control nozzle is allowed on any day, before 9:00 am and after 4:00 pm. No watering whatsoever is allowed between 9:00 a.m and 4:00 p.m.
Also, the Department of Water and Power will implement a shortage year rate schedule to provide customers with a financial incentive to conserve water. Under the shortage year rates, a customer's Tier 1 water allotment will be reduced by 15%, and the billing rate for Tier 2 water consumption will increase.
A customer's Tier 1 water allotment is calculated based on a number of factors, including lot size and temperature zone. Customers can check their Tier 1 allotment size at www.LADWP.com (My Account section) or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (342-5397).
Customers already conserving 15% below their Tier 1 allotment will see no change in their bills, and customers who take new steps to reduce water consumption will see their bills decrease. Customers who exceed the reduced Tier 1 allotment will pay a higher rate for each additional gallon.
PROHIBITED WATER USES:
Water using sprinklers on any day other than Monday and Thursday
Water landscaping--including lawns--between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Use a hose to clean hard surfaces such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways or parking areas
Have water in fountains, lakes, or decorations unless it is re-circulated
Allow leaks to go unattended
Wash a car without an auto shut off sprayer
Irrigate while it is raining
Water with sprinklers for more than 15 minutes per watering station (drip systems exempt)
Overwatering causing runoff on to the sidewalk, street, or gutter
Commercial laundry and carwash systems must have re-circulated water
Hotels must give guests the option to re-use their towels without washing them daily
Restaurants cannot serve water to customers unless it is requested
There are penalties for not complying with these water-usage prohibitions. After an initial warning, continued violations will result in fines assessed on a customer's DWP bill.
The DWP also suggests some WATER SAVING TIPS to help customers stay within the new Tier 1 allotment:
Fix leaky faucets, plumbing joints and your sprinkler system. It saves 20 gallons a day for every leak stopped.
Consider replacing turf landscape areas with drought tolerant plants.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. It saves 150 gallons or more each time.
Shorten your showers. Even a one- or two-minute reduction can save up to 375 gallons per month.
Don't water the sidewalks, driveway, or gutter. Adjust your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden where it belongs--and only there. It can save up to 500 gallons a month.
Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket. It saves up to 200 gallons a month.
Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. It saves 300 to 800 gallons a month.
Use only as much water on your lawn as you need. Step on your grass. If it springs back when you lift your foot, it doesn't need water. Use the watering calculator and watering index found at www.bewaterwise.com to learn just how much you should water. It saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
Replace your old washing machine with a new, high-efficiency model. It saves 20 to 30 gallons per load. Learn more about how you can receive a $250 rebate from LADWP at www.ladwp.com.
Install a new "smart" sprinkler controller that figures out the right amount of water for your landscape. These controllers can save 40 gallons a day.
During this severe water shortage, we all need to take action to conserve water, and the City offers many programs and incentives to help residents and conserve water. For more information, please visit www.ladwp.com or call 1-800-DIAL-DWP.