By Arnold Adler
Gov. Jerry Brown has called for legislation by the California Water Resources Control Board to reduce water use by 25 percent statewide by April 2016.
Most area water providers have been assigned 20 percent reductions from their water use figures of April 1, 2013.
If the cutbacks are successful, the state will save about 1.3 million acre feet of water, the governor’s proposal stated. An acre foot is about 326,000 gallons.
The governor said mandatory restrictions are needed because of the state’s four-year drought and the possibility that it will continue.
To make things tighter, the Metropolitan Water District has indicated it will reduce the amount of outside water from the Arizona River and the Central Delta in California that it will sell to local providers to augment their ground water capacity. The MWD is also considering rationing water for local providers
The April 1 order by Brown calls for the California Water Resources Control Board to draft his proposed rules into law in the coming weeks with a public hearing and final adoption May 5 or 6.
Brown’s proposed laws include funds to help relocate families in areas of no water and to help pay for the removal of 50 million square feet of grass, to be replaced by native, drought-resistant plants and landscaping.
The new rules include some previously approved by the Water Resources Control Board, such as not watering turf in street medians, requiring drip irrigation rules for new homes, not hosing down driveways or sidewalks, using only hoses with shutoff nozzles when washing cars, no watering within 48 hours of a substantial rain; and restaurants not serving water unless it is specifically requested by a customer.
It will be up to the more than 400 public and private water providers in the state to enforce those restrictions.
Most area cities and private water providers have already reduced drinking water usage with figures from June 2014 to February 2015 as compared to usage from June 2013 to February 2014, according to the Water Resources website.
According to the state water board’s website, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has reduced its water consumption by 9.1 million gallons, a seven percent reduction.
area cities have made the following reductions in the use of water:
West Hollywood residents and businesses are served by two water utility companies, the Beverly Hills Public Works and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti praised the governor’s action on water conservation and said that it will join with his mayoral executive directive from last fall to further drive water use down in L.A. to reach his targets of reducing water use reduction by 20 percent by 2017 and a 50 percent reduction in the purchase of imported water by 2024, a Garcetti spokesperson said.
“We are making the drought a top priority because this record drought threatens our economy and environment at crisis levels,” Garcetti said. “I welcome Gov. Brown’s announcement and the state’s response to our historic drought.”
In an effort to lead by example, city departments have reduced outdoor watering to two days a week for all city facilities and urged customers to do the same, the spokesperson said.
Los Angeles has reduced the use of potable water at large landscapes including golf courses. Currently, 76 percent of L.A.’s public golf courses are irrigated with recycled water, the spokesperson added.