LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today was joined by California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot to discuss the current state of the drought, and highlight several critical water conservation tactics that will help Angelenos do their part to lower their water use.
“Even here in Los Angeles, one of the true conservation capitals of the world, we need to continue to take advantage of the tools at our disposal that will help us get through drought,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We need to conserve now more than ever, and watering our trees is a critical part of our work to become a more sustainable and drought resilient state.”
While discussing the ways that residents can improve their conservation efforts, Mayor Garcetti and Secretary Crowfoot focused on the role that trees play as a key tool to stave off the impacts of drought, thanks to their ability to capture stormwater, improve water quality, and help reduce flood risks at the neighborhood level. They also reminded California residents that new watering restrictions do not apply to tree-watering, and encouraged residents to continue watering their trees by hand.
“California has experienced the driest first three months of the year on record, and drought is worsening throughout the West,” said California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “Climate-driven water extremes are part of our reality now. We need to act now to save water, even as we invest to become more resilient to this new normal. Watering less outdoors — while taking care to prioritize our urban trees — is a step we can all easily take.”
“Trees provide so many benefits for our quality of life and our environment,” said Board of Public Works President Aura Garcia. “But as we go through this period to reduce water usage through various ways, we want to share this important information for residents to help maintain and preserve trees in their yards, while conserving water.”
Earlier this month, Mayor Garcetti announced that LADWP customers would be required to cut the number of outdoor watering days from three to two. He recognized the work the City has already done to conserve, and highlighted the nearly 20 water rebates offered by LADWP that have allowed Los Angeles to become one of the most water efficient cities in the country.
Since Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, LADWP customers have saved over 256 billion gallons of water – enough water to fill the LA Coliseum over 900 times, and nearly double the amount of water LADWP uses in an entire year. LADWP has invested hundreds of millions in its rebate programs, and in addition to the increases of the washers and toilets rebate last year, is continuing to look for ways to expand its current programs. For the past decade, LADWP’s turf replacement rebate program has helped Angelenos replace over 51.1 million square feet of turf, which equates to enough water savings to supply 27,500 homes per year.
The City of Los Angeles has worked to reduce dependence on imported water. In 2018, Mayor Garcetti played a critical role in the passage of Measure W, L.A. County’s Safe, Clean Water Program, which provides nearly $300 million in local, dedicated annual funding for projects that increase local water supplies, improve water quality, enhance the public right of way, and protect public health.
In response to the 2014 drought, Mayor Garcetti signed Executive Directive 5, which set a 20 percent reduction target by 2017. ED 5 successfully reduced potable water use from 133 to 106 gallons per capita by February 2017. Two years later, Mayor Garcetti announced that the City would recycle 100 percent of its wastewater for reuse by 2035 at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant.