Long Beach Water Board calls for conservation measures

The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners has again called on southern California cities to implement more aggressive, permanent, extraordinary conservation measures in light of dismal new projections for critical in-state water supply reserves.
According to Kevin Wattier, general manager of the Long Beach Water Department, “critical northern California reservoirs that provide communities throughout southern California with much of their imported water are on track to reach the lowest levels they have ever been. Collectively, Lake Oroville, Shasta and San Luis Reservoir will dip below 30 percent full in a matter of weeks.”
Imported water from northern California is a significant water supply source for the city of Long Beach, and the rest of California. Nearly half of the city’s water supply is imported from outside the region.
“Californians need to make a permanent lifestyle change in the way they think about and use their water so that inefficient and wasteful uses are no longer considered or tolerated by anyone,” according to Bill Townsend, president of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “Communities throughout southern California must implement restrictions on the most wasteful outdoor uses of water, and those restrictions need to be made permanent. Every gallon of water not used is a gallon not taken out of storage.”
Yesterday, the Board of Water Commissioners announced that Long Beach has hit another record low for water consumption, this time for June. Water use in June 2008 was 5.7 percent below the lowest June on record over the last 10 years, and 10.5 percent below the 10-year-average.
On September 13, 2007, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners issued a Declaration of Imminent Water Supply Shortage and activated the City’s Emergency Water Supply Shortage Plan. As a result, the Board issued mandatory prohibitions on certain uses of water. “The Board took the action it did to forestall and lessen the impact of an expected water supply shortage,” said Townsend.
The Board’s declaration was necessitated by the profound impact of a U.S. District Court’s federal Endangered Species Act ruling, which resulted in a permanent, 30-percent reduction in State Water Project deliveries to southern California, the dramatic reductions in water storage levels in key reservoirs in northern California, and climate conditions resulting in drought.

Thinking Green

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