JANUARY 8, 2008
Contact: LADWP Public Affairs, (213) 367-1361
WITH RECENT RAIN, LADWP URGES CUSTOMERS TO SAVE WATER
BY TURNING OFF SPRINKLERS
WATER SUPPLY STILL THREATENED BY DROUGHT
AND COURT RULING DESPITE RAIN AND SNOW
LOS ANGELES – Despite the winter storm that dumped up to eight feet of snow in the Eastern Sierra-the watershed that feeds the City of Los Angeles’ two aqueducts and supplies about half of the City’s water during a normal year – the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) reminded customers there is still a serious water shortage facing the region, and urged them to turn off their sprinklers or other outdoor irrigation systems to help conserve the water supply.
“We’re not out of the woods yet and we cannot be lulled into a false sense of security by these storms,” said David Nahai, LADWP General Manager and CEO. We are dependent on watersheds that are experiencing significant pressures and weather that has been terribly unreliable. We continue to urge our customers to save water as much as possible, especially during the winter months when it is easy to do so.”
LADWP conservation experts estimate that the average residential customer would save about 800 gallons by not watering their landscapes for a week. Los Angeles received enough rain during the latest series of storms to keep grass, plants and other foliage happy for several days.
“Right now our lawns and landscapes are saturated from the wet weather, so let’s take advantage of that. We strongly encourage residents and business owners to use this opportunity to turn off your sprinklers,” said Jim McDaniel, chief operating officer for LADWP’s Water System. “Let the storm water soak in and save our drinking water at the same time.”
LADWP also urged customers to adjust their automatic timers such that sprinklers operate no more than twice each week, since cooler temperatures greatly reduce landscape water needs. Customers should also consider purchasing “smart” weather-based irrigation controllers-new technology that adjusts irrigation schedules based on local weather conditions.
The recent storm dumped six to eight feet of snow on Mammoth Pass, equating to approximately 8 inches of water content, bringing the current water content total to about 16 inches; however, that amount is still only about a third of the water content level produced by Eastern Sierra snowpack during a normal year. In addition, while the overall snowpack level in the Eastern Sierra is higher than normal for this date, there are still three months to go in our snowpack measurement period and we need more snow to fall in the Eastern Sierra.
LADWP utilizes snowpack data from the Eastern Sierra to calculate how much water Los Angeles can expect to receive via the Los Angeles Aqueduct during the next fiscal year. For planning purposes, the Department projects the next year’s water supply based on the snowpack level as of April 1 each year. The snowpack level can vary dramatically by then, depending on the weather, and affect the amount of water supply available for the following year.
In addition to snowpack levels in the Eastern Sierra, there are other pressures facing traditional water supplies. The Colorado River has completed its eighth year of record drought, and a federal court order has restricted pumping operations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the threatened Delta smelt.
LADWP also reminded customers of the prohibited water uses, which are in effect throughout the City. As defined by existing City ordinance, LADWP customers cannot:
Use water on hard surfaces such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways, or parking areas (this was amended by Ordinance in 1991 to allow hose flushing for public health);
Water lawns between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., April 1 to September 30 and between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., October 1 – March 31;
Allow excess water from sprinklers to flood gutters;
Use water to clean, fill, or maintain decorative fountains unless the water is part of a recycling system;
Serve water to customers in eating establishments, unless requested; and
Allow leaks to go unattended.
Customers can also take advantage of numerous incentives programs that provide rebates for purchasing water efficient technology. LADWP has recently increased its rebate incentives for the following programs:
Residential clothes washer (from $150 to $250)
High efficiency toilet (from $205 to $300)
High efficiency urinal (from $200 to $400)
Cooling tower pH control (from $1,900 to $3,000)
Smart irrigation controller (from $630 to $1,000 per acre controlled)
Technical Assistance Program (TAP) incentives (from $1.25 per thousand gallons saved/$50,000 cap to $1.50 per thousand gallons saved/$100,000 cap)
For further information on LADWP’s water conservation tips and rebate programs, please visit http://www.ladwp.com/.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was established more than 100 years ago to provide a reliable and safe water and electric supply to the City of Los Angeles residents and businesses. The LADWP serves approximately 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water service customers. For more information, log on to http://www.ladw