L.A. water use plummets during hot summer amid calls to conserve during drought
By RENEE HOFFMAN and STEPHANE MAHEUD
An L.A. water conservation group on Thursday said its annual report showed that water use in the second longest-running drought in the city’s history dropped by the equivalent of an entire football field in June. A drop of just 2.24 million gallons in the month, or nearly half a million gallons, was the lowest in eight years, according to a review of L.A. Department of Water and Power records and calculations.
The drop was caused by a spike in water use after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order in April to reduce restrictions on residents’ irrigation use to less than 10% of a normal monthly flow. Newsom also issued new water restrictions.
The decrease, which officials have attributed to people using less water as showers and showers in the bathroom were turned off, was not the only surprising statistic in the report. Officials attributed the drop in water use, combined with a 2.9% decline in rainwater use, to record low temperatures and dry conditions this summer.
“We saw the biggest year-to-year reduction of any of the major cities we’ve followed in terms of residential water costs,” said Dan Schnur, co-founder of Waterwise of the Santa Monica Bay Water Management District, which collects more than 1 million gallons a day of rainwater for use around the city.
Waterwise’s report showed a decline of nearly 7% for May — the most dramatic month decline in that time period — and that in the first four months of this year, use in the city has fallen 16% compared with the same period last year.
According to the report, water use dropped 9% for the first six months of this year, an unusually low trend over the past five years.
Overall, use is expected to be flat this year. Though California is currently on a drought — the fourth dryest on record since the 1930s — officials expect it to end by the summer, when water is expected to