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Drought Emergency

Drought Background

Emergency Conservation Regulation

Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, on May 18, 2016, the State Water Resource Control Board (State Water Board) adopted an emergency water conservation regulation that replaces the February 2 emergency regulation. The May 2016 regulation that will be in effect from June 2016 through January 2017 requires locally developed conservation standards based upon each agency's specific circumstances. It replaces the prior percentage reduction-based water conservation standard with a localized "stress test" approach. These standards require local water agencies to ensure a three-year supply assuming three more dry years like the ones the state experienced from 2012 to 2015. Water agencies that would face shortages under three additional dry years will be required to meet a conservation standard equal to the amount of shortage.

As directed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in Executive Order B-37-16, the State Water Board will separately take action to make some of the requirements of the regulation permanent.

How are we doing?

The State Water Board provides ongoing monthly updates on water conservation for urban water suppliers throughout the State, including Los Angeles County. Updates are posted on the State Water Board website.

In addition, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District is actively working to capture storm water and runoff to provide much needed replenishment to our groundwater supply. Click here to find out how much water has been captured.

Ways to Conserve

Unlawn Your Lawn
Beautify your garden and make it more water-efficient by replacing your grass with water-efficient landscaping.

Loans are available to assist customers with the purchase of water saving devices or landscape replacement projects through Los Angeles County's PACE program. Click here to learn more.

Gray Water Systems
Contrary to the commonly held view, there are minimal regulatory barriers for graywater reuse. No permits are required from the County of Los Angeles for residents to install graywater systems in one- or two-family dwellings as long as these systems are supplied only by clothes washers and the system meets minimum design requirements of the County of Los Angeles Plumbing Code and regulations set by the Department of Public Health.

Residents who wish to reuse graywater from bathroom sinks and showers must prepare simple plans for review by their local building official and the County Department of Public Health to ensure there are no cross connections between their potable water systems and the graywater system from these sources.

Rain Barrels
Permits from the County are not required to install and use rain barrels to capture and reuse rainwater on private property.

What are the Statewide Water Restrictions adopted by the State?

  1. Washing down sidewalks and driveways
  2. Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff
  3. Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle
  4. Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system
  5. Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measureable precipitation.
  6. Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request.
  7. Operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.