WEST HOLLYWOOD — Despite recent rainstorms and marked improvements in water reservoir levels, the state has experienced extreme drought during the past three years.
The threat of a severe water shortage is a serious one in the city, where daily existence depends largely upon water piped in from sources outside the region.
As part of a series of efforts to cut back water usage and encourage conservation in the community, the city has partnered with West Basin Municipal Water District and recently installed an ocean-friendly demonstration garden in the median of Santa Monica Boulevard, east of Doheny Drive.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiled the garden, which was completed in February, March 29.
West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister and members of the City Council were in attendance, joined by West Basin Division IV Director Scott Houston.
“As a city, we are passionate about ecological stewardship and advocacy,” Meister said. “One of our core values is responsibility for the environment and we are committed not only to reducing our water usage, but also to raising awareness and educating individuals and businesses about how we must all make permanent changes, not just during times of drought.
West Basin coordinated with the city’s Department of Public Works to oversee the procurement and installation of the garden, which was designed with ecological principles and water conservation in mind.
The garden is also used to display artwork curated through the city’s Art on the Outside program, which installs rotating temporary artworks in city medians and in parks. Currently on display is “The Chase,” a series of four, origami-inspired steel sculptures depicting two scenes that dramatize survival by artist Hacer, who is known for his bold metal sculptures that explore psychologically complex themes.
During the past three years, the city has intensified its efforts to use less water and to promote conservation. Last year, the city produced an Emmy Award-winning public service announcement, “Winter Is Here! But the Drought is Far From Over.”
West Hollywood residents and businesses are served by two water utility companies: Beverly Hills Public Works and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Both utility companies are urging customers to cut back on water usage.
The West Basin Municipal Water District is a wholesale water agency that provides imported drinking water to nearly one million people in 17 cities and unincorporated areas in the western part of Los Angeles County.