Posted on 04/27/2016

Ordinances will reduce water use through updates to the Green Building Code and amendments to L.A.’s Emergency Water Conservation Plan aimed at the city’s highest water users.

LOS ANGELES—Mayor Eric Garcetti this week signed a pair of ordinances that build on Angelenos’ successful efforts to conserve water and further reduce water use across Los Angeles.

Effective May 3, new amendments to the City’s Emergency Water Conservation Plan Ordinance will increase fines for water wasters during periods of severe drought and encourage conservation by the city’s largest residential users.

Updates to the Green Building Code, effective June 6, will require that water conservation measures be incorporated into the construction and design of new buildings, additions, and alterations valued at over $200,000.

“Angelenos have responded to the urgent need for conservation by reducing water use by 19 percent in just one year,” said Mayor Garcetti. “These changes address our City’s highest users to ensure that we keep our momentum going during this historic drought. We are rewarding Angelenos who conserve, and creating more incentives for everyone to Save the Drop.”

The amended ordinance requires the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to assess the water use of single family customers in the highest water rate, Tier 4, and determine if their consumption is excessive. Staff will also prepare a Customer Conservation Plan that identifies any unreasonable use, suggest actions to reduce water waste, and creates a water budget for each property based on State standards.

“These amendments will improve our ability to respond to ongoing drought conditions by reaching out to and working with our customers on the higher end of the water use spectrum,” said Marty Adams, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager, Water. “Rather than immediately penalize, we seek to reduce high water use through a customized plan, education, rebates and incentives.”

The updates to the Green Building Code stem from a 2014 directive from Mayor Garcetti to the Department of Building and Safety, DWP, and the Bureau of Sanitation — which asked the agencies to propose building code changes that would require water-saving technologies in buildings and landscapes.

“These are important steps toward creating a water-wise city far into the future,” said Mayor Garcetti. “New buildings should reflect the 21st century appreciation of water as a critical resource.”

The Green Building Code updates require indoor water use to be reduced by 20 percent through the installation of more efficient plumbing fixtures and fittings, and water budgets for landscape irrigation to be consistent with statewide standards. New multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to install sub-meters, giving each occupant an incentive to save water.

To take advantage of LADWP’s residential water-saving rebate programs, visit