Angelenos’ Summer Water Usage Take a Dive
Water Use Down Nearly 9% from August 2013, Double from July 2014
|LOS ANGELES- As California weathers the drought, water customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) are increasingly heeding the call to conserve by cutting their use by 8.8 percent this past August versus the same period in 2013. In July, Los Angeles saw a 4.4 percent reduction in water use citywide from the prior year, meaning in a month’s time, citywide conservation numbers were doubled. Additionally, Los Angeles met this challenge despite extreme hot weather – 2014 is, on average, four degrees hotter than the long term average for the city, and May alone was seven degrees above normal.
“Seeing these savings in the middle of summer during a drought is telling of L.A. residents’ commitment to water conservation, and we are grateful to all who continue to do their part,” said Marcie Edwards, General Manager, LADWP.
“Every drop of water we have been saving is valuable, especially until we see what relief this winter brings to the State’s dwindling water supplies,” said Martin Adams, Senior Assistant General Manager, Water System. “It is important that we all continue to follow the water conservation ordinance and watch our water use closely during this drought.”
LADWP’s multi-pronged effort to encourage conservation amongst its 680,000 water customers is led by enforcement of its Water Conservation Ordinance, in place since 2007 and now in Phase 2, that restricts outdoor watering to three times a week and prohibits wasteful water practices. The Department has also increased its enforcement staff called the Water Conservation Response Unit, expanding its ability to receive and investigate suspected violations of the Ordinance, resulting in 4,600 investigations since January.
Outreach in the form of a public awareness campaign providing tips on how to save water and report waste is visible all over the city. From January to July, LADWP has invested a half million dollars in water conservation messaging via direct mail, bus tails, benches and shelters, movie theater and radio ads, cable television, and in daily English and Spanish language newspapers and 30 additional community publications.
Incentives for water customers to replace water-thirsty lawns with California Friendly landscaping has “skyrocketed,” said Adams, aided by the increase to $3 a square foot for turf removed that was announced in May as part of the Department’s Cash In Your Lawn rebate program. Since the commercial and residential incentive was launched in 2009, a total of 8.8 million square feet has been removed, saving an estimated 278 million gallons per year. The year 2013-2014 saw record-breaking water conservation rebates increase by 187 percent; residential indoor rebates from July to September alone reached $2.5 million.
With no relief yet in sight in terms of water supply, LADWP continues to seek the public’s help in reporting water waste. Persons can e-mail inspectors at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-dial-DWP as well as use the City phone app MyLA311.
To learn more about LADWP’s Drought Update, view the report presented to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 here.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility, provides reliable, low-cost water and power services to Los Angeles residents and businesses in an environmentally responsible manner. LADWP serves about 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water customers in Los Angeles.