The lack of rainfall in California is not only drying your lawn. Starting in July, it will also further drain your pocket.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has announced it will tack on a $2.18 monthly surcharge to its customers for the purchase of water from the Metropolitan Water District.
The surcharge is temporary, officials said, while more resources are needed to meet demand, especially in the dry summer months.
Reduce water consumption
According to the LADWP, the way to stop or shorten the amount of time the surcharge is applied is by saving as much water as possible.
Apparently, that’s not happening at the rate officials have been urging residents to do so.
California water conservation slipped during an unusually dry January just a month after residents first met Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to slash water use by 20 percent, a state agency reported.
Urban water use declined 9 percent in January compared to the same month in 2013, according to a State Water Resources Control Board survey. State officials urge continued conservation as California’s drought enters its fourth year.
Savings plunged in December, when Californians cut water use by 22 percent but overall consumption was roughly flat. Officials feared that month was an outlier because winter storms in December helped residential conservation by reducing the need to water lawns.
The report said Los Angeles monthly water use dropped only 1 percent compared to 2013, but L.A.city officials said consumption has fallen by 22 percent since 2007.
The City of Los Angeles is trying to do its part to reduce water consumption.
Recently, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials appeared at the Hansen Dam municipal golf course in Pacoima to announce that all the water used to keep the greens looking their best will be recycled.
That will save 170 million gallons of water annually, the equivalent of supplying fresh water to 1,000 homes for a year, they said.
The cost of the project is $12.5 million.
Treated Water From Toilet Use
The water for the Hansen Dam golf course will come from all the water you flush down your toilet, said Mike Schull, Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department general manager.
“The water goes through a rigorous treatment process at a plant in Van Nuys before the water is used again,” he noted.
Hansen Dam is the first of the 13 city golf courses to transform completely to recycle water use. The Roosevelt course in the Griffith Park area is next.
The City has set a goal of 85 percent recycle water use in all municipal golf courses by 2017.
This move adds to other measures the City has already taken to reduce its water consumption.
Just last week, officials appeared at Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima to announce the recent changes to that facility.
The project included installing a new water efficient landscape irrigation system, new turf reduction areas, and a new pump station with smart control system. There is also a newly graded and seeded natural turf soccer field, whose project scope consisted of the removal and replacement of 6,534 cubic yards of soil from two soccer fields. All of this has resulted in approximately 2.1 acres of turf reduction.
The improvements will yield 15.4 acre feet of potable water savings annually, officials said.
In addition, several lawns at other municipal buildings and facilities — including the Getty House and the Mayor’s home in Windsor Park — were replaced with drought resistant plants and shrubs.
“Saving water is one of the most important challenges we face,” said Garcetti, while at Hansen Dam. “We all have a role to play in reducing the water use in the city.”
He said the goal remains to reduce water use by 20 percent by the year 2017.
Outdoor water use is the biggest drain in Los Angeles, where green lawns are synonymous with the way of life here.