DWP Allows Watering Three Times a Week

Thanks to heavy rainfall last year, Los Angeles residents may now water three times a week, according to a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power July 31 press release.

DWP customers have been limited to two-days-a-week outdoor watering restrictions for the past 13 months. The agency, in response to a three-year-drought and limits on the water supply from the Bay Delta and Colorado river, implemented the two-day restriction on June 1, 2022.

There was a record snowpack this past year and DWP wrote that the Mayor and City Council have approved the recommendation to three-days-a-week water.

“We want to thank our customers for continuing to lead on conservation and helping us exceed our water conservation goals,” said Anselmo Collins, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager of the Water System. “Over the past year, Angelenos reduced their water use an additional 10%, which is a remarkable achievement considering this was on top of the substantial long-term water conservation our customers had already achieved.”

The return to Phase 2, which is three-days-a-week watering means customers with street addresses ending in odd-numbers may water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and customers with even-numbered street addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m. (when the evaporation rate is appreciably lower than during the middle of the day).

Here are the rules:

Limiting outdoor watering with sprinklers to eight minutes per station on permitted watering days;

Watering with sprinklers using water-conserving nozzles are permitted for up to 15 minutes, twice a day, on the permitted watering day;

No water should flow off of a property;

No water should leak from any pipe or fixture;

No watering within 48 hours after a measurable rain event;

No hosing of driveway or sidewalk;

No washing of vehicles using a hose without a self-closing nozzle.

Not in the press release was where L.A. County or L.A. City is in the process of developing storage for rainwater runoff.

A January 2023 New York Times story (“In a Drought, California Is Watching Water Wash Out to Sea”) wrote that with nine storms, between December 20 and January 15, an estimated 18 billion gallons of water went into the ocean from the Los Angeles River.

In 2018, Los Angeles County voters approved Measure W, a special parcel tax that allocated $280 million annually for multi-benefit stormwater projects throughout the county.

Since its approval, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has awarded $400 million to over 100 regional infrastructure projects, such as the Rory M. Shaw Wetlands Park Project to convert a 46-acre landfill into a wetlands park that can collect stormwater runoff and the Tujunga Spreading Grounds facility in the San Fernando Valley doubled its storm water capture from 8,000 acre feet per year to 16,000.

But, according to Berkeley Law’s Legal Planet January 2023 story, it will take 30 to 50 years to build a stormwater capture system that will capture 98 billion gallons, of water annually. “Last year, L.A. collected only about eight percent of the water the county consumes in a given year,” the story noted.

The 2022-2023 rainfall total for Pacific Palisades (July 1 through June 30) was 32.1 inches of rain.

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