Tag Archives: drought

This is what a drought looks like

San Gabriel Dam...click to embiggen

Things are pretty dire around here.  After several years of not having “normal” rainfall this year was a disaster. Last stat I heard was we only got 1/3 of “normal”.

This morning I took a drive into Azusa Canyon for a walk along the river.  Path was closed due to recent fires and mudslides so I opted to take a drive into the canyons. Gorgeous day for that.  Everything is so clean and green after the storms of 2 weeks ago.

I was really surprized by how empty the dams were.  Worst I’ve seen them in years.  You can see the normal levels way up the sides of what should be big bright full lakes.  In the case of San Gabriel Dam, from the lookout above you can actually see the bottom, and many spots its just muck filled with flotsam and jetsam.  Not pretty at all.  Doesn’t bode well for our summer water needs either.  (Yes I know we don’t get water directly from there, rather water is released to settling ponds to recharge our groundwater). Continue reading This is what a drought looks like

New Lawn Watering Rules for Los Angeles Start Today

Beginning today, in the City of Los Angeles, you are now only allowed to use your sprinklers to water your yard on Mondays and Thursdays, before 9am or after 4pm.  This new attempt, Phase III, to conserve water was announced by Mayor Villaraigosa earlier this spring.  The plan is to reduce household usage on the Tier I level by 15%. If your water bill has moved up to Tier II, you will see an increase fee on your utility bill.

Earlier announcements on water conservation prohibited watering on rainy days, watering between the hours of 9am and 4pm and hosing down sidewalks. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any enforcement of what was called Phase I. Local homeowners and shopkeepers I spoke to violating the rules were not aware of them.  Both the City and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power expect other citizens to alert them of ongoing water abuse.

Whether your water usage is reported or not, the goal is to reduce water usage in the home. There are penalties involved if your water usage does not fall below a certain level. You can find out more by read LADWP FAQ on water usage (PDF). 

For more information about these rules, visit the LADWP website. To learn more about water conservation, there is the Be Water Wise site.  And to report water waste, you can call the LADWP at (800) DIAL-DWP or email at [email protected].

Reduce Your Water Use By June 1st or Pay Higher Rates to LA DWP

Dry creek bed in O'Melveny Park, Granada Hills by Jodi
Dry creek bed in O'Melveny Park, Granada Hills by Jodi 02/01/09

For the third consecutive year, California is experiencing a drought, which led to the Governor to declare a state of emergency on February 27th. The proclamation contains several directives for reducing water consumption. The deficient water supply is taking a devastating toll on our agriculture industry and increasing the risk of another significantly destructive wildfire season.

The city of Los Angeles already has a conservation ordinance in place, which includes such rules as no watering the lawn between 9am and 4pm and no automatic service of water to restaurant patrons. To comply with the new state government regulations, the L.A. DWP is implementing “shortage  year water rates,” beginning June 1, 2009.

DWP charges are based on allocations for the amount of water households and businesses use. Every customer’s allotment is being cut by 15%. If you conserve and stay with reduced limit, you might see a decrease in your bill. If you exceed the limit, a premium price is charged for the overage. The L.A. DWP offers more information on rates and  tips for saving water on their website.

Share in the comments any actions you are currently taking to save water. Aside from taking shorter showers, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to do a lot more to see a significant difference in my bill.