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Garcetti calls for 20 percent water reduction by 2017

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive today calling for a 20 percent reduction in the city’s fresh water use by 2017, and a 50 percent cut in the amount of imported water purchased by the Department of Water and Power by 2024.

To reach the reduction goals, Garcetti called for a combination of steps to build the city’s local water supply, including treating groundwater, capturing and storing stormwater, using recycled water, employing conservation strategies and creating “green” infrastructure.

He also ordered city departments to limit lawn-watering to two days a week and asked residents to do the same. He also called for more incentives and rebates for DWP customers who install rain-capture water systems and get rid of their grass lawns.

The directive also includes a re-evaluation of the DWP’s tiered water rate system to encourage conservation by customers and the use of local water sources.

Garcetti’s directive comes as the state faces a record-setting drought.

“Our relationship with water must revolve,” the mayor said. “We cannot afford the water policies of the past. We must conserve, recycle and rethink how we use our water to save money and make sure that we have enough water to keep L.A. growing.”

The directive establishes a “Mayor’s Water Cabinet” headed by Deputy Mayor Doane Liu and including Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Petersen.

Other officials on the team will come from the DWP, Bureau of Sanitation, Recreation and Parks, the Metropolitan Water District and the city’s Proposition O Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee. 

The cabinet will work to ensure the city meets the goals in the directive and put in motion long-term projects to create water sustainability.

The directive received endorsements from representatives of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Heal the Bay, Urban Semillas, TreePeople and the Sierra Club.

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