L.A. water use plummets during hot summer amid calls to conserve during drought.
Los Angeles switched off its water supply after last month’s unusually hot and dry Los Angeles was forced to shut off some of its water system to protect the public from the rising risk of water supply cuts and threats to the community’s health, according to the city’s utilities department.
The utility agency said the city now will turn off water from the main distribution trunk for two hours a day beginning June 19 to preserve water pressure. But the agency made clear that the city planned to resume using water from the system to protect other vital services — including firefighting and police safety — with little sign of a drop-off in customer demand for those services.
“They will make adjustments as they go, but the city is not expecting any interruption to city operations,” said Matt Roberts, spokesman for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “Once customers see the quality of the city’s water and understand how essential it is to the city’s infrastructure, they will start purchasing less.”
The city’s utilities department said it was the first time residents had been given a choice when to turn off their water — and that it was a rare sign that residents, both public and private, understand how essential water is to the city.
“We’ve taken the time to educate the public on our water system and the importance of conserving,” said Richard Haggerty, the utility’s general manager. “Even before this year’s record amount of rain we were using far less water than we did a few years ago. We encourage the community to consider the long term and invest in water efficiency.”
The city said the decision to shut off some water distribution systems is expected to spare about 2% — or 5,000 customers — because the utility does not use water from those facilities to run day-to-day operations.
Los Angeles has long used a practice known as “dual control,” which allows residents to use up to 50% of their water for irrigation. But last year, the city said it would begin using water from the main trunk if residents do