Water Conservation

Another part of the water resources management program was the development of new and stronger conservation measures.  The program of water metering initiated by Mulholland had, by 1985, resulted in a per capita daily use of 178 gallons overall and 111 gallons for domestic use.  This rate of use, though only 50% to 60% of that of unmetered cities such as Sacramento, was not enough.

During the 1977-78 stateside drought, the City renewed its efforts to strengthen its water conservation program.  What resulted was one of the most aggressive and comprehensive on-going water conservation programs in California.

Under this program, the City developed public information and school education programs to promote the reinforcement of conservation ethics among its citizens.  Through distribution of conservation kits and audits for all types of residence, business, and landscapes uses, Los Angeles has helped to focus public attention on water conservation.  Consumers are aided in monitoring their consumption through billing programs that compare use from year to year.

To further encourage conservation, the City has seasonal water rates that are approximately 20% greater during the summer higher use period.  And to reinforce the conservation message, the Department sponsors an annual Water Conservation Gardens contest that rewards residents who use drought tolerant plants that require less water to create beautiful gardens.

At the domestic level, the Department enables City residents to further conserve water by providing them with several water conservation devices.  The DWP provides, upon request, free water conservation kits that include low-flow showerheads, water displacement bags for toilet tanks, and dye tablets that help to detect toilet tank leaks to residential customers.

The City has also undertaken its own conservation measures, including a program to replace water mains nearing the end of their useful life.  This comprehensive replacement program helps to reduce losses through the DWP’s domestic distribution system.

In addition, the City of Los Angeles has recognized the need to be able to respond to the water needs of its citizens in an emergency.  In 1977, a Blue Ribbon Water Conservation Committee, appointed by the Mayor, recommended the adoption of the Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance.  By adopting this ordinance, the City Council has empowered the mayor to impose mandatory water conservation measures in droughts and other emergencies.  Thus Los Angeles is both prepared to meet emergencies and accepts the responsibility to conserve and protect this vital resource.

For more information about LADWP Water Conservation, click here.

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