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    LB Water Dept. Issues "Declaration Of Immediate Extraordinary Water Conservation"

    (June 14, 2007) -- As reported this morning on's front page (, LB's Board of Water Commissioners today (June 14) approved a "Declaration of Immediate Extraordinary Water Conservation" which the agency calls a precautionary measure taken "to forestall or lessen the impact of a potential water supply shortage."

    Effective immediately, the LB Water Dept. urges residents and businesses citywide immediately to begin implementing three water conservation measures:

  • Eliminate landscape over-watering and all water run-off
  • Reduce time in the shower and install low-flow shower heads
  • Check your water meter for potential leaks in your home or business

    The LB Water Dept. has hyperlinked information on each of these measures on the following webpage: Three Water Conservation Measures.

    In a release, the LB Water Dept. said its Declaration is necessitated by record low rainfall in the So. Cal coastal plain; a continuation of an 8-year drought in the Colorado River watershed; a continuation of low strategic water reserves in the Colorado River Watershed; 75% of normal precipitation in the part of the Sierra Nevada watershed used by So. Cal for part of its its imported water supply; a significant drawing down of in-state strategic water reserves; and an interruption in water supplied from the SF Bay/Sac'to Delta area to mitigate environmental concerns (protected smelt).

    "The time to act is now," said Frank Clarke, President of LB's Board of Water Commissioners in the release. "We are calling on every one of our customers to immediately give irrigation systems a thorough check-up. Every day, thousands and thousands of gallons of precious drinking water runs off the yards of our homes and businesses, and into the storm drains. Saving water now means we at your Water Department can store this water for next year, in case next winter is again dry."

    LB's Board of Water Commissioners has already adopted the following Water Use Prohibitions:

    a) Permitting the excess use, loss or escape of water through breaks, leaks or other malfunctions in the water user’s plumbing or distribution system for any period of time after such escape of water should have reasonably been discovered and corrected;

    b) Watering or irrigating lawns, turf, or landscape areas beyond saturation causing significant runoff, as determined by the Long Beach Water Department (Department);

    c) Operating a fountain or other water feature that does not re-circulate the water;

    d) Washing a vehicle with a hose when the hose does not have a water shut-off nozzle or device attached to it or allowing a hose to run continuously while washing a vehicle;

    e) Using potable water, rather than reclaimed water, after the Department has provided to the customer an analysis showing that reclaimed water is a cost-effective alternative to potable water and the customer has had a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the General Manager of the Department or the General Manager’s designee (collectively, “General Manager”), to make the conversion to reclaimed water;

    f) For water customers that are a hotel or motel, failing to provide customers the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily. The hotel or motel shall prominently display notice of this option in each bathroom and sleeping room using clear and easily understood language. The Department shall make suitable displays available.

    For questions regarding prohibitions on water use, please contact Matt Lyons, Director of Water Conservation, at

    The LB Water Department says it "will significantly elevate its public communication in this area, until further action is taken by the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. If, subsequent to this Declaration of the need for immediate extraordinary water conservation, the water supply situation warrants elevated attention, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners may declare more serious Stages of its Emergency Water Supply Shortage Plan, triggering increased mandatory prohibitions on potable water use in the City of Long Beach."

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