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Santa Monica City Council Advances Immediate Drought Response



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        Contact: Dean Kubani, Sustainability Manager

October 29, 2014                              Phone: (310) 458-8703

 Last night, the Santa Monica City Council advanced the City’s call for immediate water conservation and dedicated an additional $400,000 towards incentive and conservation programs.

“We need to move quickly and go further. Every dollar invested today that results in lasting conservation is a dollar we’re investing in our long-term water sufficiency,” Mayor Pro Tem Terry O’Day.

In response to the statewide drought, the Council called on Santa Monica residents, visitors, businesses and their employees to take immediate action to reduce water use by 20%, or 2.2 million gallons of water a day. Reducing water use will lessen the impacts of the drought on local groundwater and imported water supplies and improve local, regional and state-wide water sustainability.

The City provides, on average, 12 million gallons of water each day to 18,000 water customers, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In 2013 total city-wide water use was 4.2 billion gallons (11.8 million gallons per day). In order to reduce 20%, water customers combined need to save 800 million gallons a year (2.2 million gallons per day) to reach an annual total of 3.4 billion gallons or a new daily total of 9.6 million gallons per day.

Santa Monica has been aggressively working to be a leader in water conservation for years. Since 2008 when high-efficiency water fixtures hit the market, the City has provided 1,600 rebates on devices like WaterSense toilets, urinals, clothes washers, and sustainable landscaping with an estimated savings of 600 acre feet – enough water for approximately 1,800 homes for one year. Many Santa Monica customers, approximately 42% of all single-family water customers and 80% of all multi-family water customers, are already significantly conserving water.

“The Council’s support and additional resources will allow us to assist more people make the simple changes in and around their homes and businesses that will not only help them stay within their allowance but also contribute towards long-term water sufficiency,” Dean Kubani, Sustainability Manager.

In order to help achieve the new mandatory 20% water reduction goal, the City urges residents and businesses to adopt water saving strategies, including:

1.    Keep showers to 5 minutes or less

2.    Check for and repair leaks in toilets, faucets, showers and irrigation systems

3.    Replace low flow toilets with WaterSense toilets (rebates available)

4.    Replace top-loading washing machines with Energy Star front-loading washing machines (rebates available)

5.    Replace lawns with water-smart plants, mulch and drip irrigation (rebates available)

The following water restrictions are currently in effect in Santa Monica:

·         No sprinkler irrigation 10 AM to 4 PM any day of the week

·         No irrigation runoff or overspray

·         No hosing paved areas such as sidewalks, driveways, patios

·         No washing vehicles without a hose shutoff nozzle and no runoff to the storm drains

·         No fountains without recycling (recirculating) systems

·         No restaurants shall serve water without a request

·         No leaks are permitted from any interior or exterior plumbing fixture

Contact the City’s Code Compliance office at or (310) 458-4984 to report violations.

The community will have the opportunity to provide input into the Water Shortage Response Plan including water use allowances, drought surcharges, and a variance process before it returns to Council in January 2015. In advance of this, the City will

move forward with an educational campaign focused on easy tips to immediately reduce water use.

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