The Long Beach Water Department announced today that residents and businesses missed the city's target for November and reduced their water use by 12 percent compared to November 2013, using approximately 4,169 acre-feet of water. Last month’s water use was the lowest since 1966, stated the release.
“Although Long Beach did not meet the 16 percent target for November, we recognize that we can do better in the remaining months of the statewide mandate until February and beyond,” said Frank Martinez, President of the Board of Water Commissioners, in a statement.
According to General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department, Chris Garner, the state mandate is cumulative, so the city does not expect to be fined for missing the mark this time. Currently, Long Beach has a 17.2 percent cumulative reduction, while the goal is a cumulative 16 percent by February.
“But we have to pick conservation back up so we can remain above the 16 percent cumulative target until that time,” Garner told the Post.
As winter approaches, water conservation will become more difficult because residents tend to use the least amount of water for landscape irrigation during what makes up Long Beach’s rainy season, according to Garner. He said residents should be attempting to reduce usage even more than what has become the usual, despite the upcoming “wet winter” predicted over the next few months.
“[...] so far our ‘rainy season’ has been unusually warm and dry,” said Garner. “But we can all do more to conserve not only outdoors, but indoors, too. Every small action makes a difference. And when the El Niño rains finally come, the best thing we can do to save water during the projected wet winter months is to turn our sprinklers off during and after rain storms.”
“Even with the Weather Service advocating that a wet winter is on its way, it is important that we continue to remain on target and restrict water usage throughout the year,” said Martinez in a statement.
November’s average temperature was 74 degrees, three degrees warmer than the 10-year average of 71 degrees for the month, while the 10-year average rainfall for November in Long Beach is a little over half an inch, with average rainfall last month coming in at only .06 inches, according to the water department.
“I want to encourage residents to continue conserving and to really think about every drop of water we use,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “We’ve done a great job so far, but we need to keep it up, because the drought shows no sign of ending.”
Long Beach Water will be targeting high water users in an effort to help them find ways to conserve, according to the release. Since June, the department has installed 48 involuntary smart meters, yet has issued only three fines to those failing to conserve, per the state’s and city’s standards.
“Fines are only imposed after repeated but failed efforts to gain cooperative conservation by the customer,” said Garner.
“Anything that you can do makes a big difference. If every resident in Long Beach saves just 10 gallons of water per week, that will amount to a little more than 10 acre-feet, about 3 million gallons, of water saved each week,” said Garner, quoted in the release sent out this morning. “We need to do more than what we did in November, like fixing leaks, taking shorter showers and using available rebates to install high-efficiency devices.”
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has mandated Long Beach to cut its water use by 16 percent cumulatively compared to 2013, until February of next year. The city and its residents have so far been successful at meeting this mandate.
- June 2015, 19 percent reduction
- July 2015, 19 percent reduction
- August 2015, 17.7 percent reduction
- September 2015, 18.6 percent reduction
- October 2015, 16.3 percent reduction
- November 2015, 11.6 percent reduction
Long Beach Water’s “MissionH2OLB” conservation campaign aims to help the city use water efficiently, meet the state’s target, and still enjoy the community’s lifestyle. By visiting the website here, you can can calculate your water usage (if you live in Long Beach), take the pledge to save water and receive a friendly, musical reminder to take a one-song shower courtesy of two local bands.