New Watering Guidelines

With intensifying drought conditions, some of our customers are asking if there’s anything they can or should do differently in their landscapes. Earlier this year I wrote an article that focused on water conservation strategies in honor of World Water Day. While those strategies are still relevant, the intent of this article is to inform our customers of current local landscape watering guidelines.

It is nearly impossible to scroll through news feeds without reading about intense drought conditions sweeping through the western United States. On June 8, Governor Newsom declared a drought state of emergency. That same day, he signed an executive order calling on all Californians to help save water. This order is what has sparked the most inquiries among our landscape and irrigation customers. The most common question being, “How much does it affect our landscapes?” Let me explain.

Most of us remember how serious California’s drought was in 2012-2016. During that time, extreme measures were taken to conserve water. Californians were forced to significantly cut back on water use. In 2015, the LADWP was mandated to achieve a 16% reduction in water use each month for the second part of the year, compared to water consumption during the same months in 2013. As a result, during the height of conservation mandates, the LADWP limited landscape watering to only three times per week for up to eight minutes each time. Mayor Eric Garcetti went a step further and called for voluntary reduction of only two times per week. It was very rough on landscapes trying to stay in compliance.

Newsom’s Executive Order

Governors Newsom’s executive order is a voluntary call on Californians to reduce their water use by 15%. Key word: voluntary. We are in the early stages of what will likely be a string of state and local mandates that will ultimately enforce similar past water conservation goals.

“Governors Newsom’s executive order is a voluntary call on Californians to reduce their water use by 15%. Key word: voluntary.”

Local Watering Rules

An important thing to remember is that your water utility service probably has existing restrictions in place. As a refresher, the LADWP limits landscape watering to three times per week. The days you can water depend on your property address. Irrigation run-time depends on the type of sprinklers used to water the landscape. Conventional pop-up sprinklers are allowed to run for eight minutes while water-conserving rotary nozzle sprinklers can run for 15 minutes. Don’t worry if any parts of your landscape have been converted to drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is currently exempt from run-time limits under the The Emergency Water Conservation Plan of the City of Los Angeles.

Click to download LADWP Watering Rules – July 2021

Water conservation is a responsibility we bear and have always welcomed at Groundcare Landscape. Our staff has multiple professional certifications, including Water Manager and Irrigation Technician, to help guide our customers.

If you would like to participate in voluntary efforts to conserve water, please contact our office or reach out to your account representative.

About the Author:

Alex Salazar

Alex is the Business Development Manager at Groundcare.

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