The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners declared yesterday a Stage 1 Water Supply Shortage, which will include a two-day per week watering schedule on Mondays and Thursdays until the end of March 2015.

Residents will be able to return to three-day per week landscape watering from April 1 to September 30.

“As drought conditions continue to worsen, it is in the City’s best interest that the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners declare a Stage 1 Water Supply Shortage, reducing landscape watering to two days a week through the winter,” said Harry Saltzgaver, President of the Board of Water Commissioners, in a statement. “The Board is enacting these extra restrictions as an effort to conserve even more water rather than raise customer rates.”

The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners has also put the following water restrictions into effect:

    • Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape on Mondays and Thursdays until March 31st, 2015
    • Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape 10 minutes per station per watering day, or 20 minutes if using water-efficient rotating nozzles
    • Residents and businesses can only irrigate landscape before 9am or after 4pm
    • Residents cannot fill swimming pools and spas with potable water
    • Restaurants cannot serve water to customers without the customer requesting it
    • Residents and businesses cannot irrigate the landscape beyond saturation, causing significant runoff
    • Residents and businesses cannot hose down hardscape with a hose, unless using a pressurized cleaning device
    • Residents cannot wash a vehicle with a hose unless it has a water shut-off nozzle or device attached to the hose
    • Residents and businesses cannot allow the wasting of water due to breaks, leaks or other malfunctions in the plumbing or distribution system
    • Hotels and motels must post signs to notify patrons they can choose not to have linens and towels washed daily

The new rules are because of the state’s water reservoirs reaching a record low, with the State Water Project allocation expected to be set at the lowest percent ever for the 2015 calendar year due to predictions that Lake Oroville, the reservoir that feeds the State Water Project and southern California, will hit its lowest level in history before December 31st.

As well, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will use half of all of its stored water in the 2014 calendar year.

“As the state’s reservoirs continue to reach record lows, this Stage 1 declaration, the first in Long Beach Water’s history, should signal the state of emergency we really are in,” said Kevin Wattier, General Manager of the Long Beach Water Department, in a statement. “This declaration will help avoid or lessen the impact of the severe water shortage that will occur if key watersheds experience only normal to below-normal precipitation this winter.”

For more information about Long Beach’s water use and the drought, click here.