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Pasadena Water and Power Plans to Ratchet Up Water Restrictions: Once A Week Watering Beginning September

Level 3 Water Supply Shortage Plan considered as “the drought condition worsened”

Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 | 5:53 am
 

Pasadena Water and Power is planning to step up water conservation efforts beginning this September as California slips deeper into drought.

Speaking to members of the Municipal Services Committee on Tuesday, July 13, PWP Interim General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said the agency will soon propose the implementation of a level 3 Water Supply Shortage Plan, which would limit watering days to one day per week.

“I’m thinking of recommending to [City Manager] Cynthia [Kurtz] and the City Council that we just go to September 1st for one day a week,” Kightlinger said. “It can be awfully hot during that period but we’re seeing the drought condition worsened.”

The Pasadena Municipal Code provides that a level 3 water supply shortage plan will be implemented following City Council declaration that level 3 water supply shortage exists.

A level 3 water supply shortage exists “when the city council determines, in its sole discretion, that due to drought or other water supply conditions, a water supply shortage or threatened shortage exists and demand reduction is necessary to make more efficient use of water and appropriately respond to existing water conditions.”

Since August of 2021, Pasadena has been implementing conservation actions under Level 2 of the Water Supply Shortage Plan to establish a voluntary water reduction target of 15%, which aligns with the state’s reduction goal. The plan restricts outdoor watering to two days per week from April to October and one day per week from November to March.

Last June the city also prohibited the irrigation of non-functional turf with potable water at commercial, industrial, and institutional sites, in compliance with the State Water Resource Control Board.

“That’s a tough one because it’s very very hot in September and October,” Councilmember Felicia Williams said about the PWP’s proposal.

“September could be incredibly hot. I am concerned about our trees, not just the loss of our trees but we have very many mature trees and as the water supply gets shut off, some of the bigger trees could drop limbs and I think we need to be mindful of that,” Vice Mayor Andy Wilson said.

Despite the concerns, the majority of the members of the committee expressed support for the proposal. They also advised PWP to inform the public as early as possible about the possible changes to water use.

Meanwhile, Kightlinger said the PWP is also planning to bring to the City Council a proposal that will ensure compliance with water regulations: “We don’t have some of the enforcement provisions the state called for in the city code so we will bringing forward a resolution to the Council for enforcement,” Kightlinger said.

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