LA Emergency Drought Response Executive Directive

Requiring city departments to reduce water by 10-20% by 2017 (Emergency Drought Response Executive Directive), 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA

 

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

The drought will cost California $2.7 billion and 21,000 jobs. In 2015, 92% of California suffered from extreme drought.

Imported water is costly and at immediate and long term risk because of the impacts of global warming, which include a reduction in the Sierra snowpack, the key water supplier for much of California.  And if Los Angeles has an earthquake, it could sever the aqueducts that deliver water.

As California entered the third year of a record-breaking drought in October 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti enacted the Emergency Drought Response Executive Directive to require city departments to:

  • Restrict irrigation with potable water at City buildings and street medians to no more than two days per week.
  • Present a plan to convert 85% of public golf course acreage to recycled water by 2017 and convert feasible street medians to low and no water use landscaping.
  • Report on the feasibility of converting all City car washing facilities to use 100% recirculated water.
  • Replace turf at appropriate city buildings.
  • Increase rebates for residential turf removal to $3.75 per square foot for the first 1,500 square feet of turf, and for rain barrels to $100 per barrel.

It also asks residents to voluntarily:

  • Reduce outdoor watering to two days.
  • Replace turf lawns with native and climate-appropriate landscaping during the optimal Fall/Winter planting season.
  • Install low-flow fixtures and appliances.
  • Put covers on pools to reduce water evaporation.

If the city does not reduce water use by 20% by 2017, the city will require:

  • Outdoor watering to two days a week (or fewer if necessary).
  • Covering and/or prohibiting filling of residential swimming pools with potable water.
  • Requiring all car washing to take place at commercial car washes with recirculating water.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

It is an integrated short- and long-term water strategy.

GOAL

To ensure Los Angeles survives the drought by using and securing more local water responsibly.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

The new city Water Cabinet ensures that City agencies are accountable. It includes:

  1. Deputy Mayor for City Services (Chair)
  2. Chief Sustainability Officer
  3. General Manager, Department of Water and Power
  4. Director, Bureau of Sanitation
  5. Senior Assistant General Manager, Water System, Department of Water and Power
  6. Assistant Director, Bureau of Sanitation
  7. General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks
  8. One City representatives to the Metropolitan Water District
  9. One Proposition 0 Citizens Advisory Oversight Committee member

OUTCOME

To reduce per capita potable water use by 20% by 2017 and reduce the Department of Water and Power’s purchase of imported potable water by 50% by 2024.

CONTACT

Susana Reyes, Senior Analyst, Sustainability Team- Budget and Innovation, Office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, (213) 473-2385, susana.reyes@lacity.org

LAST UPDATED

September 19, 2015

Chula Vista Residential Graywater Stub-out in Building Code

Requiring new homes to reuse water (Residential Gray Water Stub-out Building Code), 2013

CHULA VISTA, CA

 Chula Vista Laundry to Landscape Display. Photo courtesy of Cory Downs.

Chula Vista Laundry to Landscape Display. Photo courtesy of Cory Downs.

 

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

California single-families use 53% of water on landscapes.  You can save money by reusing water (gray water) from your washing machine, shower, and sink for your garden or lawn.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

It reduces California's drought by requiring homes built after June 2013 to be pre-plumbed with a gray water system.

GOAL

To reduce water waste.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

Home developers, landscapers and architects, as well as homeowners.

OUTCOME

Since 2006, Chula Vista has reduced its water consumption by 33% and has saved over 176 million gallons of water.

CONTACT

Cory Downs, LEED-Green Associate, Conservation Specialist, City of Chula Vista, Conservation Section, 619-476-2442, CDowns@chulavistaca.gov

LAST UPDATED

September 19, 2015

Santa Monica Water Self-Sufficiency Plan 2020

One of the most ambitious plans to be 100% water self-sufficient (Water Self-Sufficiency Plan 2020), 2012

Santa Monica, CA

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

People in Santa Monica pay more for water because a lot of it is imported.  So Santa Monica created the Water Self Sufficiency Plan to increase local groundwater and recycled water, capture and use rainwater, reuse graywater, create more stringent plumbing and building codes, and reduce leaks and improve the water system.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

It's one of the most ambitious urban water management plans out of more than 350 Southern California cities.

GOAL

Reduce water use 20% and be 100% water self-sufficient by 2020.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

Businesses and residents.

OUTCOMES

As of 2014, Santa Monica surpassed its goal and almost reduced water use by 25%.

Residents and businesses are expected to save 128 million gallons each year. Each resident will reduce daily water use from 134 to 123 gallons by 2020.

Large water users include St. John’s Medical Center, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and laundry facilities.  Santa Monica helps them retrofit cooling towers, faucets, toilets, plumbing fixtures, and replacing washing machines and more.

The City plans to add a 1.6 million gallon cistern starting 2016 capture storm water, treat it, then use it to flush toilets or water landscapes (instead of using potable water).

CONTACT

Dean Kubani, Manager of Office of Sustainability and the Environment, City of Santa Monica, 310-458-8703, dean.kubani@smgov.net

LAST UPDATED

September 15, 2015

SF Stormwater Management Ordinance

Requiring large buildings and landscapes to harvest and reuse stormwater (Stormwater Management Ordinance), 2010

San Francisco, CA

 SF Stormwater design guidelines. Image Credit: SFPUC.

SF Stormwater design guidelines. Image Credit: SFPUC.

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

Soil can absorb stormwater and remove pollutants.  Pavement cannot.  San Francisco combines wastewater and rain runoff in the same sewer pipes that go to the treatment plant.  When lots of storm runoff overloads the treatment plant, untreated water pollutes the bay.  So pesticides, trash, and other pollution end up in the bay.

So San Francisco created the Stormwater Management Ordinance.  It requires new building or landscape development or redevelopment projects over 5,000 square feet to write a Stormwater Control Plan to harvest and reuse rainwater on site per Stormwater Design Guidelines (e.g., green roofs).

It saves the city money because stormwater controls: 

  • Are paid mostly by developers to design, build and maintain. 
  • Reduce pollutants processed by the wastewater treatment plants.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

The Guidelines go beyond the minimum standards required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit because it encourages the:

  • Use of plants and soil to collect stormwater.
  • Removal of pollutants.
  • Use Low Impact Design (LID) that use ecological and landscape-based systems to mimic pre-development drainage patterns and hydrologic processes through retention, infiltration, detention and treatment of stormwater at its source.

GOAL

To save water and reduce water pollution.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

New building or landscape development or redevelopment projects over 5,000 square feet.

PUBLIC OUTREACH & EDUCATION

An extensive 34-month outreach strategy engaged the public on the Guidelines.  Engineers, planners and design professionals were targeted to gather technical feedback on the Draft Guidelines.  Further, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the Port provided technical assistance to 15 large projects that were under construction during the outreach period.  All of these efforts resulted overwhelming public support for the Design Guidelines.

BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM

Staff time to review submitted stormwater control plans is the primary cost.  SFPUC worked in conjunction with the Department of Building Inspection to integrate stormwater control plan review into the existing review process.

CONTACT

Pauline Perkins, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, pperkins@sfwater.org

LAST UPDATED

September 15, 2015