Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) announced the City saved 87 million gallons of potable water during a recent rain storm that took place in late February through early March of this year.
Department managers were able to forecast the storm, which took place between February 26 and March 2, and proactively develop a plan for saving water by turning off the irrigation systems at each of its facilities. The City owns more than 450 parks and 13 golf courses in its park system.
"Conserving water, maximizing limited resources, and saving money is not rocket science but it does require planning,” said O’Farrell who chairs the City’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and the Los Angeles River committee. “I want to shine the spotlight on the collaborative effort between the Department of Recreation and Parks as well as Water and Power in hopes of encouraging more Angelenos to be aware of their water use and what can be accomplished when we conserve our precious resource."
The rain event produced 4.52 inches of rain. RAP conservation efforts saved the City more than $200,000 in water usage. This is roughly enough to provide more than 500 families with water for the whole year.
"As Chair of the City's Energy and Environment Committee, I have asked City departments, including the Bureau of Sanitation, and the Department of Water and Power, to collaborate on ways in which the city of Los Angeles can take advantage of such storms to bolster our local water supply," said Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who chairs the City’s Energy and Environment Committee. "Our continued drought emergency underscores the need to develop more projects for local water collection and storage."
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was also on hand during the press event to announce the water savings. Blumenfield recently directed policy that would enhance RAP water and energy saving measures in the construction and maintenance of City park facilities. This includes utilizing permeable materials for parking lots to assist with groundwater recharge.
"87 million gallons of water saved is a remarkable figure and demonstrates how local government, working smartly, can make an immediate positive impact," said Councilmember Blumenfield, vice-chair of the City's Energy and Environment committee. "But we need to do more, that's why I'm looking for more commonsense solutions like utilizing permeable paving materials at City parks, to save even more water at City parks and around Los Angeles as we face of the most severe drought California has seen in decades."
According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), fifty percent of L.A.’s drinking water is used for outdoor irrigation. With California experiencing a drought, all residents are reminded to follow the mandatory water conservation ordinance that limits outdoor watering to three days a week, eight minutes per station, before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m. only.
“The entire state of California is having a very dry year, and water conservation by all of us is more important now than ever,” said Martin Adams of LADWP. “Recreation and Parks’ water conservation efforts is significant because it saved enough water equivalent to more than half of the city’s daily water demand.”
Records show Los Angeles has only received a total of 5.77 inches of rain since July 1, 2013.
PHOTO: L-R Michael Shull, Recreation and Parks, Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, Martin Adams, LADWP. Credit: Sheri Mandel, City of Los Angeles