The insistent drought this winter has caused Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to call for a cut back in water use now.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Villaraigosa called for increased citywide water restrictions and the adoption of a tiered water rate structure that would punish DWP customers who fail to conserve.
LA may boast a lot of brown lawns this summer. The Mayor's rules would restrict use of outdoor sprinklers to two days a week now and by summer possibly one day per week. The restrictions and rate changes could be enacted by spring if the LA City Council and DWP approve them.
Mayor Villaraigosa is quoted as saying that the "level of severity of this drought is something we haven't seen since the early 1970s." He called for quick action in response.
In a press conference, Villaraigosa explained that the Metropolitan Water District may have to cut water deliveries by 15% to 25%. LA receives 67% of its water from MWD. The next largest supply comes from the Eastern Sierra where conditions remain well below normal.
DWP Manager David Nahai was quoted as saying that the Mayor delivered grim news and that what was announced is, in effect, water rationing for the first time in LA history. The rationing would occur in new rates that would discourage heavy water use.
Nahai said that DWP customers in LA would be asked to cut water use by as much as 15% to 20%. DWP Commissioners will consider increased rate charges February 17th.