Severe Drought Triggers Aggressive Response from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES (October 14, 2014) — In response to the severe California drought, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced aggressive goals for reduced water use within the city. Among the plan’s topline goals is slashing L.A.’s per capita potable water use by 20% by 2017.

Los Angeles’ nearly 4 million residents and thousands of businesses currently use an estimated 130 gallons per capita per day (GPCD), much of it outdoors. 

Following is a statement by the Director of NRDC’s Water Program Steve Fleischli:

“Severe drought and a changing climate call for a bold response. Mayor Garcetti’s plan to improve L.A.’s water efficiency and slash waste is exactly the type of action that our city – and state – need to become more water resilient. The mayor’s investments in 21st century solutions to improve water conservation, capture rainwater and use treated wastewater make good economic and environmental sense no matter the weather.”


Plan Details:

The mayor’s plan calls for immediate action to reduce outdoor water use across city departments and buildings, as well as assessments for further water conservation, including building code changes, rainwater capture, greywater use and improved water metering.. Additionally, Mayor Garcetti calls for increased incentives and rebates for residential turf removal and rain barrels, and calls on Angelenos to voluntarily reduce their outdoor watering to two days, cover their swimming pools when not in use, and take advantage of rebates for more water-efficient landscaping and appliances.

The directive also calls for L.A. Department of Water and Power to cut in half its purchase of imported potable water in the next decade and the creation of an integrated water strategy that increases local water supplies and improves water security for the city.

Additional mandatory restrictions could kick in if the plan doesn’t reduce water consumption by set target dates – 10% by July 1, 2015, 15% by January 1, 2016, and 20% by January 1, 2017.

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