LADWP Customers Cut Water Use by Nearly 21% in December
Latest snow report shows snowpack only a fifth of normal
|LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) today reported its latest water conservation metrics showing that its customers used 20.9% less water in December than they did in the previous year; residential water use was down to 61.5 gallons per day in December compared to 77.1 gallons in November. These numbers, provided to the State Water Resources Control Board, report a timely and favorable response to the statewide drought with the announcement of LADWP’s recent snow survey in the Eastern Sierras continuing to track the driest year on record. The Mammoth Pass snowpack water content is 21 percent of normal to date, with 5.9 inches of water on the ground in the form of snow. The data on six remote snow sensors in the Eastern Sierra help forecast the amount of runoff that will flow into the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
LADWP’s snow survey follows the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) announcement of the dismal results of its snow survey for Echo summit last week. DWR reported the snowpack to be only 12% of normal at the location, and 25% statewide.
“I want to thank Angelenos for responding to our call to conserve water,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It’s critical that we keep conserving as we enter what is shaping up to be a fourth year of serious drought.”
Marty Adams, Senior Assistant General Manager of the LADWP Water System said, “With the dire conditions in the Eastern Sierras, we are grateful for LADWP customers’ sustained commitment to water conservation. While we did get some relief from a couple of storms in December, the 20.9% reduction in water use means our customers continue to respond to the drought, shutting off their sprinklers in anticipation of the rains to reduce outdoor water use. We can tell that conservation remains at the forefront of people’s minds, and they have made lifestyle changes to help meet Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to reduce our per capita water use by 20% by 2017.”
Under the City’s Water Conservation Ordinance, outdoor watering with sprinklers is currently limited to three days a week, which in most instances for residential customers, can be completely shutoff during the cooler fall-winter season. Customers are urged to re-set sprinkler times, double-check for leaks indoors and outdoors, and consider replacing their water-thirsty lawn during this dormant growing season. Customers can take advantage of the Cash In Your Lawn Program, which rebates up to $3.75 for every square foot of turf removed in favor of California-friendly plants or permeable hardscape.
LADWP relies upon runoff from the Eastern Sierra as a major source of water for Los Angeles’ four million residents, brought south via the Los Angeles Aqueduct and blended with local groundwater and other imported sources. In the last five years, the Los Angeles Aqueduct supplied approximately 34% of L.A.’s drinking water. LADWP begins gathering remote snowpack water content data in late October. To verify the remote sensor readings, each year on February 1, March 1 and April 1 LADWP snow surveyors journey into the backcountry via snowcats and on snowshoes and skis to measure each location by hand. When snow first falls, 10 inches of powder is roughly equivalent to one inch of water content. However, as the snowpack settles over time, approximately three or four inches of snowpack equates to one inch of water content. Snowpack records at many of the locations go back almost a century, and the LADWP uses the average of the last 50 years to predict water runoff and deliveries to the City.
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