At its adjourned meeting on April 18, the La Verne City Council discussed California’s severe drought and its impacts on La Verne. After three consecutive dry years, California continues to implement protocols to conserve water and maximize water efficiency, which also affects the water services delivered by Metropolitan Water District (MWD). To comply with these statewide and regional mandates, the City Council unanimously adopted water conservation measures to reduce the City’s water usage by 20% relative to 2020 usage.
“This is going to be difficult for La Verne residents,” said Mayor Tim Hepburn, “However, the severity of this drought is felt by all Californians, and I am confident that our community will do what is necessary to reduce our water consumption and contribute to this statewide water conservation effort.”
Since experiencing the lowest level of precipitation in 97 years, both the State of California and MWD have implemented measures to conserve water, including:
- November 9, 2021: MWD declares a regional drought emergency and calls for increased conservation.
- December 1, 2021: The State’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) anticipates zero percent allocation of contracted water supplies in 2022 from the State Water Project.
- March 18, 2022: DWR announces it will reduce the State Water Project allocation from 15 percent.
- March 28, 2022: Governor Gavin Newsom signs an executive order proclaiming states of emergency across all the counties of California due to extreme drought conditions.
- April 26, 2022: MWD declares a water shortage emergency, restricting outdoor watering to one day per week in select areas.
Through Three Valleys Municipal Water District, the MWD water agency that serves La Verne, the City sources roughly 75% of its water from the State Water Project, and the remaining 25% is drawn from local groundwater sources. With less water coming from the State Water Project, La Verne residents will need to reduce their water usage and implement conservation measures.
In accordance with the resolution approved on April 18, the water conservation requirements are now in effect. The City created a checklist for residents to properly navigate this water reduction and enhance water efficiency. As 70% of water consumption is outdoors, residents are encouraged to:
- Reduce landscape irrigation.
- Seek rebate opportunities to replace turf and inefficient fixtures.
- Fix leaks in plumbing and irrigation systems.
- Only use washing machines and dishwashers with full loads.
- Prevent runoff onto non-irrigated areas, such as walkways, roadways and parking lots.
To meet the new requirements set forth by MWD on April 26, an urgency ordinance will be brought to City Council on May 16, restricting outdoor irrigation to once a week. As the year progresses, the State or MWD may impose additional restrictions that La Verne will need to adhere to.
For more information on the current drought and its impact on La Verne, water efficiency programs and rebates available for residents and businesses, visit the City’s website.