Mayor Eric Garcetti today joined Councilmember Paul Koretz, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas, and several city department heads to mark the 1-year anniversary of the Mayor’s signing of Executive Directive No. 5: Emergency Drought Response (ED5), which calls on Angelenos to reduce water consumption by 20% by 2017.
As of September 2015 — the most recent data available — Angelenos have reduced potable water use by 16% and are on track to meet the mayor’s 2017 goal.
“One year later, I am proud to report that the people of Los Angeles have responded to our drought crisis,” said Mayor Garcetti. “And we here at City Hall are addressing the drought head-on: we are conserving, leading by example, and providing incentives for Angelenos to help create a more sustainable, resilient city.”
In Los Angeles, more than 20 million square feet of turf have been replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping, resulting in an estimated 800 million gallons saved per year. Angelenos are also saving 3 billion gallons of water per year through rebated devices that including rain barrels, toilets, and weather-based irrigation controls.
To encourage Angelenos to save more money and more water, Mayor Garcetti called for a four-tier water rate in any new rate structure proposed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). This new tiered rate structure would reward conservation with cheaper water rates for low volume users, while those who use larger amounts of water would pay a higher rate.
The Mayor also announced his support for a recent City Council motion by Councilmember Koretz, which calls for financial penalties to be levied on the city’s worst water wasters. Based on this action, the LADWP will, later this month, propose new penalty structures for excessive use later this month.
“I’m proud of the tremendous efforts Angelenos and city staff have made to reduce water consumption over the past year,” said Councilmember Koretz. “Going forward, I want to be certain that everyone knows, regardless of how much rain El Niño brings, due to our warming climate we will still be lacking snowpack, we will still be in a drought, and we will still need to conserve our most precious resource.”
The City of Los Angeles is leading by example in water conservation. Since ED5’s enactment in 2014, City departments have reduced water use by 22.4% across municipal buildings, parks, and street medians. Under Executive Directive No. 5, City departments have cut their irrigation to two times per week, replaced turf with water wise landscapes and developed many creative ways to save water on a daily basis, including:
- Over 143,718 square feet of turf has been replaced with California-friendly landscapes at city facilities;
- The L.A. Fire Department saved over 9.5 million gallons of water by recycling water used during its annual Engineers Practical Exam;
- The Department of Public Works developed and approved Residential Parkway Landscape Guidelines to include all drought-tolerant, permeable materials;
- The Bureau of Sanitation has cut its potable water use by 21% in its 125 facilities — 97% of LA Sanitation’s water use is recycled water produced at its four wastewater treatment facilities;
- The Bureau of Street Services reduced irrigation on all medians and shut off irrigation on turf-only medians and reduced water use by 52%;
- Department of Building and Safety convened a Stakeholder Group, which is working to propose building code changes for new and retrofitted buildings to require water conservation measures;
- The Department of Recreation and Parks uses 25% recycled water for irrigation, and has reduced its water use by 22%;
- LA City Libraries have reduced water use by 18% while significantly increasing their hours of operation;
- The Los Angeles Zoo has retrofitted 50% of its administration buildings and 27% of its public facilities with low flow restroom fixtures;
- The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles replaced 2,430 toilets with ultra-high efficiency toilets that use .8 gallons per flush and provided low flow showerheads and sink aerators at over 7,000 affordable units; and
- LAX has reduced water use per passenger from 7.1 gallons in 2014 to 6.1 gallons in 2015, while increasing passenger traffic 14% since 2011.
Today's announcements come on the heels of Mayor Garcetti's introduction of the new phase of Save the Drop — “Capture the Drop,” a campaign to encourage Angelenos to collect, for outdoor use, the billions of gallons of rainwater that flow into the ocean each year. For more information on how to Capture and Save the Drop, visit savethedropla.com.