Board of Water Commissioners Declare Imminent Water Supply Shortage For Long Beach
2014-02-28 · By Editor
Today, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners voted unanimously to declare an Imminent Water Supply Shortage for the City of Long Beach. The declaration is a preemptive action taken to strengthen the reliability of the city’s water supply in the midst of a looming statewide water shortage. In making the declaration, the Board is alerting Long Beach residents and businesses about the need to take additional steps to conserve water, including the elimination of activities that unnecessarily waste the city’s water supplies.
“We are fortunate to be in good shape in terms of water supply as we face this drought thanks to the prudent policies put in place by our predecessors and our staff during and after the last dry spell,” said Harry Saltzgaver, President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “The action we take today is meant to be proactive, and will ensure that we can continue to provide an adequate supply of water to Long Beach residents, even in the face of continued drought conditions,” added Mr. Saltzgaver.
Under the Declaration of Imminent Water Supply Shortage, the following uses of water are now prohibited, citywide:
- Irrigating landscape with potable water any day other than Monday, Thursday, or Saturday;
- Serving drinking water to any customer in a restaurant or other public place where food is served, sold or offered for sale unless expressly requested by the customer; and
- Irrigating landscape with potable water for more than 10 minutes per authorized day if using sprinkler heads that emit one or more gallons per minute, or for more than 20 minutes per authorized day if using stream rotator-type or gear driven sprinkler heads rated at emitting less than one gallon per minute.
The new prohibitions are in addition to several permanent citywide water use prohibitions in effect at all times, whether or not the city is in shortage. Some of the city’s ongoing prohibitions include irrigating landscape with potable water between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., washing a vehicle with a hose when the hose does not have a water shut-off nozzle, irrigating landscape in a manner that results in unreasonable runoff and washing driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, patios or other outdoor areas with a hose unless using a water-conserving pressurized cleaning device.
“The reason that Long Beach was so successful at maintaining a reliable water supply during the previous drought was due to the outstanding efforts of Long Beach citizens to conserve water,” stated Kevin Wattier, General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department. “I am optimistic our customers will continue to step up to the challenge of making simple lifestyle changes that eliminate wasteful uses of water, which will further strengthen our local water supplies,” added Wattier.
During the drought of 2007-2009, citywide water use in Long Beach decreased by nearly 20 percent, solidifying the city’s status as a statewide leader in water conservation. Citywide per capita water use fell to below 110 gallons per day, one of the lowest rates in California. The decrease was almost exclusively driven by an aggressive outreach and education program aimed at raising awareness of the importance of water conservation.
Under the new declaration, the Long Beach Water Department will significantly increase its public outreach and education efforts, utilizing a progressive advertising campaign to communicate the need to save water at a time when the state is facing an uncertain water situation.
In making the declaration, the Board considered several important factors, including:
- The declaration of a statewide Drought State of Emergency by Governor Jerry Brown
- The reduction in the State Water Project allocation to zero percent for the first time ever
- Record low levels of rainfall and snow pack throughout California
- Declining water storage levels in key statewide reservoirs
The declaration of a formal water supply alert by MWD, Southern California’s primary imported water supplier
A complete list of all prohibitions on water use in the City of Long Beach can be viewed, HERE.
The Long Beach Water Department is an urban, southern California water supply agency and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.