Learn more about California’s drought and Long Beach’s long-term sustainability!
Is the drought over?
No, the drought is not over. The state is still under a drought emergency as declared by Governor Brown, and Long Beach remains in an “exceptional drought” condition. El Niño storms in January and early March boosted storage in key Northern California reservoirs and improved drought conditions in some places. Since we don’t know what next winter will bring for critical snowpack and rainfall, it’s important to be vigilant about how we use water – at all times.
Is Long Beach still under a water conservation mandate by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)?
In May 2016 the SWRCB extended and modified the emergency urban water conservation mandate to reflect improved water supply conditions and allow water suppliers to locally determine conservation mandates effective June 1, 2016 through February 2017. Long Beach will not be allowed to exceed water demand from its 2013 water usage.
The modified regulation is consistent with Governor Brown’s executive order to “make conservation a way of life” and manage water supply for dry periods in the California Water Action Plan.
What recent action has the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners taken?
In June, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners declared a Stage 1 Water Supply Shortage condition, which changed the number of days in the week that landscape watering is allowed in the hot, dry summer months.
During the summer months (April – September) when the weather is hotter and drier, three watering days are allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays before 9am or after 4pm. In the cooler winter months (October – March), we will go back to two-day per week watering on Tuesdays and Saturdays only before 9am or after 4pm.
Water restrictions in effect:
- Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape during summer months (April – September) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape during winter months (October – March) on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
- Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape 10 minutes per station per watering day, or 20 minutes if using water-efficient rotating nozzles
- Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape before 9am or after 4pm
- Residents and businesses cannot irrigate the landscape nor any other use of water beyond saturation, causing unreasonable runoff
- Residents with pools and spas must use a cover to prevent evaporation
- Residents and businesses cannot hose down hardscape with a hose, unless using a pressurized cleaning device
- Residents and businesses cannot irrigate landscape during measurable rainfall or anytime within 48 hours afterwards
- Residents cannot wash a vehicle with a hose unless it has a water shut-off nozzle or device attached to the hose
- Residents and businesses cannot allow the wasting of water due to breaks, leaks or other malfunctions in the plumbing or distribution system
- Restaurants cannot serve water to customers without the customer requesting it
- Hotels and motels must post signs to notify patrons they can choose not to have linens and towels washed daily
Do we still have to conserve water?
Yes, it is critical that water use efficiency remains a permanent lifestyle change for us here in Long Beach. In fact, we are counting on our residents and businesses to continue your water-wise practices. We want to encourage a water-savings ethic to build a long-term foundation of sustainability. It’s easy to have a water efficient mindset. We have to keep up those water saving habits we’ve all adopted.