California is suffering one of the worst droughts on record for the state. It is drastically impacting agriculture, a major player in California’s economy in terms of our own food sources and exports, from north to south. Wells, lakes and rivers are drying up. The water levels of reservoirs are at record lows. Los Angeles is particularly vulnerable as it imports 80% of its potable water.
If the drought continues, we only have enough water reserves to carry us through the next 12-18 months. In light of this, the Los Angeles Water Department has now issued the Phase II of mandatory rules regarding residential water use which includes the Silver Strand. The complete list of regulations and penalties for violating them came be found here: https://www.ladwp.com/. In the meantime, we have summarized some of the most important ones below:
1) Sidewalks, driveways, etc. No Customer of the Department shall use a water hose to wash any paved surfaces including, but not limited to, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and parking areas, except to alleviate immediate safety or sanitation hazards. 2) Car washing. No Customer of the Department shall wash a vehicle with a hose if the hose does not have a self-closing water shut-off or device attached to it, or otherwise allow a hose to run continuously while washing a vehicle. 3) Landscape irrigation: These regulations apply to Silver Strand residents who have landscaped their front patios, their four-foot strip facing the Malls and Roma Court gardens fronting the Ballona Lagoon. a) No Customer of the Department shall water or irrigate lawn, landscape, or other vegetated areas between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. b) Non-Watering Days. No landscape irrigation shall be permitted on any day other than Monday, Wednesday, or Friday for odd-numbered street addresses and Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday for even-numbered street addresses. Non-conserving nozzles (spray head sprinklers and bubblers) no more than 8 minutes per watering day per station for a total of 24 minutes per week. c) Hand-held hose watering of vegetation: if the hose is equipped with a self-closing water shut-off device, watering is allowed everyday during Phase II except between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm
d) No Customer of the Department shall water or irrigate any lawn, landscape, or other vegetated area in a manner that causes or allows excess or continuous water flow.
We all use this currently scarce resource every time we take a long shower and do so more often than necessary (sponge baths and bidets can accomplish the same purpose), take baths in those enormous spa bathtubs many of us have, brush our teeth and shave without turning off the water, run the dishwasher with less than a full load, wash dishes by hand instead using the dishwasher, do a less than full load of laundry, wash our cars by hand rather than taking them to a commercial car wash, flush the toilet more than necessary (you know what we mean), mindlessly water our landscaping without adjusting timers, refill patio pools and spas and order water or accept it at restaurants that we leave untouched. Needless to say, if you haven’t already installed low-flush toilets and shower heads, you must.
The average resident in Los Angeles uses 89 gallons per day per person. Multiply that figure 30 days and you will see your approximate usage. Multiply that figure by the number of people in your household and you will see how much water your household uses a month. Unless we all work together in good conscience to lower our water usage, things will only get worse. Draconian measures involving stricter water rationing, enforced by dramatically higher water bills will be put into place. Food prices will rise dramatically along with prices of business services that use a lot of water, i.e. hotels, restaurants, laundries, spas and beauty parlors, etc. Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, whether public or private, will have to be emptied. No landscape irrigation of any kind will be permitted including median strips and public parks.
If you see people wasting water, you can send a report to: firstname.lastname@example.org