Don’t forget to turn off sprinklers before the storm

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conserve water on rainy daysThree day rainstorm expected to arrive as early as this afternoon. Water officials call on customers to turn off sprinkler systems for remainder of the week

A strong storm system is expected to hit the southern California region today and will likely stay through Thursday. Heavy winds and rain are likely at times, with preliminary reports estimating 1 to 2 inches of rain in coastal areas, and 2 to 4 inches in the foothill and mountain areas, with the potential for even greater rainfall totals in the higher elevations.

Because the storm is expected to bring a significant amount of precipitation, the Long Beach Water Department is asking all residents and businesses to turn off all outdoor irrigation systems for the rest of the week. Residents may sign up to receive an automatic notice reminding them to adjust their sprinkler systems according to changes in weather patterns by visiting,, and clicking on E-Watering Update.

“It is important for people to understand that using sprinklers during a rainstorm event is an inefficient use of water that in almost all cases can be easily prevented,” said Kevin Wattier, General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department. “For this reason, we are calling on all Long Beach Water customers to be responsible users of water by turning off their outdoor watering systems for the next few days while these storms come through.”

Long Beach receives half of its water supply by importing it from distant sources, including the Colorado River via the Colorado River Aqueduct and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta via the State Water Project. Both of these sources have become considerably less reliable in recent years. In addition, critical state reservoirs have dropped to dangerously low levels. As of yesterday, Lake Oroville and San Luis Reservoir were at 37 percent and 19 percent of capacity, respectively.

Today, Governor Schwarzenegger called a special session of the legislature to address California’s water crisis.

“Over the past few days we have made enough progress in our negotiations that I am calling a special session on water. While we still have a few remaining issues to work out, I commend the legislative leaders for their focus and commitment to solving this crisis and I will weigh all the bills on their merits,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Last week, Mayor Bob Foster issued a statement imploring the state legislature to come to an agreement on a water package that could help solve the state’s water woes.

“The state of California’s water supply is critical, and now is the time for decisive action,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “I urge the State Legislature and the Governor to quickly negotiate a water reform package that can help put California back on the right path towards sustainable water management”.

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

Read this article for more storm preparation tips and emergency numbers from the city of Long Beach.

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