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Watering restrictions go into effect throughout Los Angeles

Water restrictions go into effect, limit residents watering schedules to two-days per week
Water restrictions go into effect, limit residents watering schedules to two-days per week 02:08

Wednesday signals the beginning of a brand new water conservation method instated by Los Angeles City officials as Californians continue to battle a historic drought. 

With the end of the extended Memorial Day weekend and the month of May, a two-day per week outdoor watering schedule will begin June 1 throughout L.A., with scheduling based on street addresses. Homes with addresses ending in odd numbers are permitted to water their outdoor lawns and gardens on Mondays and Fridays, while those with even-numbered addresses are allowed to water on Thursdays and Sundays.

All watering is required to take place either in the early morning, before 9 a.m., or late afternoon, after 4 p.m., and those using sprinklers are supposed to keep watering to eight minutes, unless they have water-conserving nozzles, which bumps their watering time up to 15 minutes. 

The schedule was unanimously approved by L.A. City Council members and replaces the three-day per week watering schedule that was already in place.  

"We were given two paths ... and we chose path two, to go with a budgeted volumetric limit for the city of Los Angeles. While most other agencies affected by this need to limit their outdoor watering to one day to comply, we believe that in the city of L.A. we can comply with two-day-a-week watering, and that's thanks to our customers' tireless efforts to make conservation a way of life here in Los Angeles," David Pettijohn, director of water resources for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said.

While not a requirement, officials also urged residents with outdoor pools to use pool covers in order to decrease evaporation. They also asked that people opt for commercial carwash facilities instead of doing it at home.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has re-assigned employees to ensure that all regions receive full coverage as they monitor areas that use the most water. 

According to their website, "Over 80% of the LADWP's water is imported. In response to diminishing supplies due to environmental issues in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and local droughts, the City of Los Angeles has adopted several water conserving ordinances."

For those overusing and not within the limits of the new guidelines set in place, enforcement starts with education on the effects of water waste, before turning into fines and tickets. The next step would be a written warning before turning into a $200 fine, which increases by an additional $200 per infraction until they reach $600.

At that point, water officials plan to utilize flow restrictors "if they are recalcitrant and do not comply, and then we also have the ultimate option of terminating service if somebody is really just scofflaw against the ordinance," Pettijohn said. 

Still, the change is less restrictive than that in place for customers serviced by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which currently allows residents to water once a week.

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