Long Beach Residents Urged to Turn Off Sprinklers in Anticipation of Weekend Storms

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lb-waterThe Long Beach Water Department is asking residents to keep their sprinkler systems turned off for the next week after a storm system makes its way through California this weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, a large trough of low pressure will be moving its way down from the Northwest into the southern California region over the weekend. Two different systems are expected to bring precipitation into the area on Saturday and Sunday, with current rainfall estimates projecting half an inch to one inch of total rain through Monday. On a typical November day in Long Beach, about 0.08 inches of water is lost from the ground’s surface into the atmosphere, meaning that an inch of rain can fulfill the watering demands for landscapes for nearly two weeks.

“We are encouraging our customers to give their sprinklers a break for at least a week,” said Dr. Suzanne Dallman, President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “With the amount of rain that is forecast to fall in Long Beach this weekend, there shouldn’t be any need to run outdoor irrigation systems for a while,” added Dr. Dallman.

As part of its ongoing commitment to water conservation, the City of Long Beach recently announced its “100 by 100” initiative, the objective of which is to reduce per capita water consumption in Long Beach to 100 gallons or less per day by the end of 2011, which also happens to be the Water Department’s 100th anniversary.

The initiative is being promoted in response to a decision made by the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) to guarantee the water supply of any MWD member agency (including Long Beach, which purchases 40 percent of its water supply from MWD) that achieves an average daily per capita water use rate of 100 gallons or less. At the end of October, Long Beach daily per capita water use was calculated at 101.7 gallons.

“The City of Long Beach is now within two percent of reaching its 100 by 100 goal,” said Kevin Wattier, General Manager for the Long Beach Water Department. “By continuing to make responsible, but simple decisions such as turning off outdoor watering systems during and after rainstorms, our city will achieve its 100 gallon goal and in doing so, will secure a reliable water supply for future years,” added Wattier.

November often signals the start of the rainy season in California, but with La Nina conditions expected to impact the West Coast this winter, it’s difficult to predict whether or not the state will revert back to drought-like conditions later this year. In the meantime, residents should take advantage of any opportunities that allow them to further reduce their water use.

Customers with automatic sprinkler systems can sign up to receive periodic notices throughout the year that recommend when to adjust sprinkler systems according to changes in weather patterns and hydrologic conditions, by visiting www.lbwater.org , and clicking on E-Watering Update.

The Long Beach Water Department is an urban, southern California retail water supply agency and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

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