Just a year ago, more than 90 percent of California was in a state of drought. As a city, Los Angeles called Angelenos to action, asking residents to do their part to conserve water and reduce water waste in all aspects of their day-to-day lives.
Angelenos overwhelmingly answered the call and helped our city achieve a 20 percent reduction in the city's per capita water use. Residents now use an average of 104 gallons per person per day, down from 131 gallons per person per day in 2014.
Last year, the City of Los Angeles and the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles launched the Drop Defenders contest as part of the Save the Drop campaign to recognize Angelenos who go above and beyond to conserve water. The award winners, one from each City Council District, saved thousands of gallons of water by switching to California-friendly landscapes, installing cisterns, rain barrels, and high efficiency toilets, taking shorter showers, and limiting landscape watering.
This winter, weeks of record-setting rains poured over California and brought much-needed relief to our desperately drought-stricken region. The heavy rains brought flooding and extreme weather conditions, but also replenished much of the state's water system. According to water regulators, a majority of the state is now free of extreme and exceptional drought conditions.
The benefits of the recent rains can also be seen on the green hillsides across the Southland, but we're not out of the woods just yet. Water conservation remains one of the most important issues for our region's future, and as residents of this city, we must continue to practice sustainability, maintain our conservation mindset and realize the importance and necessity of saving every drop. You can continue to proactively do your part by:
- Replacing grass with sustainable landscaping or turf (look for rebates through your city, county and water district),
- Replacing your toilet with a low-flow toilet (also look for rebates and incentives),
- Shortening your showers to five to 10 minutes,
- Turning off water regularly in between washing dishes,
- Remembering that you should not hose down your driveway to clean it, and
- Capturing water in rain barrels.