Ahead of mandatory two-day outdoor watering restrictions set to take effect across Los Angeles on June 1, Mayor Eric Garcetti met with California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot Friday to highlight the need to protect the region’s trees amid the historic drought.
Garcetti and Crowfoot reminded Angelenos that the water restrictions do not apply to tree-watering, as the region needs its trees to stave off drought impacts. Trees can capture stormwater, improve water quality and reduce flood risk, along with helping air quality and the impacts of heat waves.
“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,” Garcetti said. “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.”
Under the conservation measures announced by Garcetti on May 10, outdoor watering will be restricted to two days per week, down from the current three, with watering permitted at odd-numbered street addresses on Mondays and Fridays, and at even-numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays.
Watering with sprinklers will be limited to eight minutes per station. Sprinklers with water-conserving nozzles will be limited to 15 minutes per station. All watering will have to be done in the evening or early morning, with no watering permitted outdoors between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“California has experienced the driest first three months of the year on record, and drought is worsening throughout the West,” Crowfoot said. “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.”
The two-day watering restrictions will be enforced by the Conservation Response Unit, which will focus on areas that are using the most water, according to DWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Marty Adams. He said when the restrictions were announced that the department will re-assign employees to ensure coverage in all areas of the city, and might bring on additional personnel during the summer.
Garcetti also said the water restrictions’ enforcement will begin with education for people who are violating the ordinance, but it will escalate with fines and tickets if needed.