Environment & Science

Drought: LA water and power officials to consider tougher 2-day-a-week watering limits

LA Water and Power Commissioners will weigh whether to tighten watering restrictions to two days a week, cutting back from three days permitted now.
LA Water and Power Commissioners will weigh whether to tighten watering restrictions to two days a week, cutting back from three days permitted now.
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On Tuesday, the city’s Board of Water and Power Commissioners will consider ratcheting up the city’s landscape conservation ordinance, limiting homeowners to a watering schedule of two days a week and shortening the length of time during which sprinklers can run.

Under the proposal before the board, odd-numbered addresses could water Monday and Friday; even-numbered properties would have Sunday and Thursday. L.A. is currently on a three-day-a-week schedule; earlier this year, the city council approved this two-day-a-week next step, because LADWP officials argued that it wasn’t necessary to cut back to one day a week yet.

Most older sprinkler systems could only run eight minutes a day. The proposal would also limit property owners who’ve installed water-saving nozzles to roughly the same amount of water. Newer technology means those sprinklers can dole it out more efficiently for up to half an hour.

Changing the city’s landscape watering rules brings with it new recommendations. DWP wants people to take cars to commercial washes that recycle water, instead of soaping up in the driveway. And it’s recommending that pool owners use covers to cut down on evaporation. 

The proposal comes even as L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti commended Angelenos this week for cutting water use 13 percent over last year. DWP points out that regulators are requiring a deeper 16 percent percent cut by next year under penalty of fines.