H-2-0 and Y-O-U: California's Drought

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California is in a Drought: Stage 3 Restrictions Now Effective

With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 17, 2014. He directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions and asked Californians to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20%. On April 1, 2015 the Governor ordered that earlier proclamations remain in full force except as modified through Executive Order B-29-15.

Re-adoptions of The Governor’s Executive Order continue water restrictions through February 28, 2017 to meet the State's goal of a 25% reduction in water usage. Though the state of emergency declared for the drought may be lifted in April or May 2017, the State Water Board is in the process of determining if amended water restrictions will be made permanent. The City’s Water Conservation Ordinance already includes several measures that are outlined in the Executive Order: e.g. conduct public education/outreach; prohibit use of a hose without shut-off nozzles to wash cars, prohibit use of water to wash down sidewalks, and prohibit use of decorative water features without a recirculating pump.

On April 14 2015, the Metropolitan Water District Board approved and implemented its Stage 3 Water Shortage Allocation Plan. Accordingly, the City's Water System is immediately set at the Stage 3 Water Shortage restrictions, which requires the implementation of Permanent Water Conservation measures as well as measures for Stages 1-3 listed in the Water Conservation Ordinance.

How Do Stage 3 Water Shortage Restrictions Impact Manhattan Beach? 

To meet the State mandate, the City’s Water Conservation Ordinance is set at a Stage 3 Water Shortage Restriction, which prohibits washing of vehicles except at commercial car washes; and limits watering landscape to two (2) times per week for 8 minutes.

To operate the City's water system safely the watering period will be for 8 minutes between the hours of 6:00 PM – 9:00 AM on Wednesday evening through Thursday morning; and Saturday evening through Sunday morning, unless a drip irrigation system is used. This is in addition to the Permanent Water Conservation Requirements, as well as the restrictions in Stages 1 and 2.

Updated water conservation measures are expected to take effect in June 2015, so starting conservation efforts now will prevent the potential for citations. The City will warn those that violate the Water Conservation Ordinance, but continued disregard of water restrictions will result in escalating fines up to $500 per day.

The City asks all members of the community to continue to conserve water and remember that in addition to the Stage 3 conditions, the Permanent Water Conservation Requirements section of the Water Conservation Ordinance will remain active.

In April, the City has released an Information Memo with details on the Governor's announcements and implications for the City of Manhattan Beach.  More information was shared with the community at a public meeting held in the Manhattan Beach Library on May 12, 2015. The presentation slides from that meeting can be viewed here (PDF), and a Question and Answer document will be posted on the Water Conservation Education webpage.  

Reminder: Permanent Water Conservation Requirements

  • NO lawn or landscape irrigation between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

  • NO washing sidewalks, streets, walkways, patios, driveways, alleys or parking areas whether paved or unpaved, with a hose connected to a domestic water source

    • EXCEPTION: use of a water broom or pressure washer

  • NO vehicle washing

    • EXCEPTION: use of hand-held bucket or hose with a positive action quick release shutoff valve or nozzle

  • NO filling water features (i.e. fountain, pond, lake, water display)

    • EXCEPTION: unless water feature is constructed with a water recycling system

  • NO filling water recreation facilities (i.e. hot tub, spa, permanent swimming or wading  pool)

    • EXCEPTION: unless constructed, installed or equipped with a cover to reduce water loss due to evaporation


Water Conservation Information

Water Conservation Tracker  

 Water Conservation Tracker - July 2015

If you have additional questions contact the Public Works Department at (310) 802-5324.

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