At the May 23 meeting of the West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) board of directors, the board adopted drought response actions including a call on its communities to reduce outdoor irrigation to two days per week.
Board President Donald L. Dear stated, “The Board decision to call for a uniform two day per week outdoor watering standard across the service area aims to reduce uncertainty about how and how much water we should be saving. Outdoor watering accounts for 50 percent or more of local water use in many areas. Reducing outdoor water use is a very effective way to save water during this historic drought.”
The West Basin decision came the day before the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted emergency water conservation regulations at its meeting in response to the drought and Governor Newsom’s calls for reduced water use levels statewide.
The SWRCB banned the irrigation of non-functional, ornamental turf with drinking water in commercial, industrial and institutional sectors. According to the governor’s office, prohibiting the watering of decorative lawns across the state will save roughly the same amount of water that 780,000 households use in a year. This statewide action is in addition to the wasteful water practices prohibited in January.
In addition, the state board actions require urban water retailers, including those in West Basin’s service area, to implement all the water use reduction actions associated with a shortage level two (10-20 percent shortage), at a minimum, of the supplier’s water shortage contingency plan.
In November 2021, West Basin declared Shortage Level Three of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which called on district retailers to achieve a 30 percent voluntary reduction in water usage. At present, West Basin is actively encouraging water use efficiency amongst its retailers and municipalities as the region and state strives to reach escalating water saving goals.
“West Basin supports its retailers in the actions they take specific to their customers, and offers many water-saving programs, including grass replacement rebates, to reach common goals,” added Dear.
For local permitted watering days and times and other recent restrictions and incentives, West Basin recommends reaching out directly to the District’s water retailers (e.g., Golden State, Cal Water, City of Inglewood, City of Manhattan Beach, etc.). The water retailers are responsible for implementing demand reductions and communicating with customers. Visit West Basin’s interactive map at https://www.westbasin.org/about-us/what-we-do/customers/.