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Make Water Conservation a Daily Way of Life


The City of Los Angeles has mandated water conservation practices since 2008, and, as a result, is in much better shape to endure the current drought than many other California cities. In fact, Los Angeles has done so well cutting its water use, that it has gained the distinction of being one of the lowest per capita consumers of water in the country – 129 gallons per person per day in 2013.


How this situation came about goes to the last dry climate cycle when the Mayor, in concert with the Department of Water and Power (LADWP), made its Water Conservation Ordinance mandatory for all Angelenos. When the rains returned to normal levels, Los Angeles did not lift its watering restrictions. In addition, Los Angeles pursued permanent water savings strategies by updating its building standards to mandate the installation of water efficient devices for both new construction and retrofit projects.


At the peak of the last drought, Angelinos had reduced their water usage by over 20% and currently Los Angeles has maintained a 17% reduction in water use. LADWP has taken additional steps to further incentivize conservation among its 679,000 water customers by promoting its very popular rebate program for homes and businesses. Through the SoCalWater$mart program, qualifying customers within LADWP’s service boundaries can avail themselves to rebates on more than a dozen separate water-saving incentives ranging from high-efficiency clothes washers (residential) to ice making machines (commercial) to rotating sprinkler nozzles (residential and commercial).  In addition, LADWP residential and commercial customers can participate in the Cash in Your Lawn turf removal program with an increased rebate of $2 per square foot.


The commercial sector includes multi-family residences such as apartment buildings as well as retail operations, restaurants, in addition to office buildings, manufacturers and other similar businesses. In particular, commercial rebates have improved recently with increased incentives for a number of devices, machines and equipment; such as, flushometers, toilets and urinals, cooling tower controllers, plumbing flow control valves, soil moisture sensor systems, ice machines, and rotating nozzles. Applications are available at Commercial customers can also participate in various customized water-saving projects through the LADWP Technical Assistance Program that pays for actual water saved. More information can be found at


The current state drought situation is dynamic and will likely get worse before it gets better as summer approaches and reservoirs are drawn down. An El Nino weather pattern is forecast for next year when rains (and snow) could return in healthy quantities, but LADWP has a longer-range strategy for reliable water centered on growing more local supplies. These include expanding storm water capture, replenishing our groundwater with purified recycled water, cleaning up our contaminated San Fernando Valley aquifer, and other measures.

It takes a tremendous effort to deliver 650 million gallons of water daily to a city of nearly four million people, and LADWP is committed to being on top of every aspect of this life-sustaining mission. Providing safe, reliable drinking water will continue, drought or no drought, and customers continue to play a great part in this effort.


Did you know?


·      When we don’t receive enough local rainfall, we draw on water that is stored underground and ultimately have to replace this precious groundwater resource with increasingly expensive imported water pumped from as far away as Sacramento!

·      About half of all the water used in Southern California is pumped here from outside our region (imported water).  In the San Gabriel Valley, we depend on imported water to meet about 20 percent of our water needs.  This relatively low percentage makes the San Gabriel Valley rather unique in comparison to many other regions in Southern California.

·      We must redouble our efforts to incorporate water conservation into our daily lives; not only in our homes, but businesses alike.


The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District provides a significant amount of the imported water the San Gabriel Valley depends on, and develops water reuse projects and offers water conservation programs and rebates for business owners within the District’s service area.


So what can you do to reduce your water usage by 20 percent? Here are some simple tips:


·      Installing aerators on bathroom faucets can save 1.2 gallons per person/day

·      Fixing leaky toilets saves 30-50 gallons per day/toilet

·      Wash only full loads of clothes saves 15-45 gallons per load

·      Taking five minute showers instead of 10 minute showers saves 12.5 gallons with a water efficient showerhead. Install low-flow showerheads. Save: 2.5 Gallons

·      Install a water- and energy-efficient dishwasher.  Save: 3 to 8 Gallons/Load.

·      Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. Save: 8-18 gallons /minute.

·      Water early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.   Save: 25 gallons/each time you water.

·      Wash cars/boats with a bucket, sponge, and hose with self-closing nozzle. Save: 8-18 gallons/minute.


Upper District encourages you to visit for water savings tips and resources.  To receive cost saving rebates for water efficient toilets, washing machines and other appliances and water efficient outdoor landscaping devices like smart irrigation controllers, rotating sprinkler heads, soil moisture sensors and turf removal, residents and business owners can visit