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COVER: Right

What the Statewide Drought Declaration Means to Pasadena

Published on Friday, January 17, 2014 | 5:04 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared that California is in a drought emergency, as the state experiences its driest year in recorded history. A recent survey of the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains found the state’s water reserves are at just 20% of normal levels. Although Los Angeles has had its lowest annual rainfall in 100 years, the water situation in Southern California is a bit better due to investments in water storage.

Over the past 20 years, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has spent more than $5 billion in storage and infrastructure improvements that the region will be calling on to sustain supplies during these extremely dry times.

Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) imports 60% of its water from MWD. Despite the record dry conditions, MWD does not plan to impose imported water supply restrictions for its member public agencies this year, although continued conservation is extremely important. The primary reasons for avoiding immediate water restrictions are ongoing efforts to dramatically lower demand and significant investments in storage the agency has made in recent years to capture supplies in wet years. MWD and PWP urge the community to continue conserving water, throughout the year.

For the last five years, Pasadena customers have reduced about 18% of water usage and PWP continues to encourage and empower residents and business owners to conserve this precious resource. PWP plans to continue a year-round public awareness campaign that empowers residents and business owners to conserve water and educates the public on the water supply challenges facing California. Beginning in February, PWP has various educational water workshops scheduled, including:

• A Water Supply Update Event on February 26, 2014
• Spring Planning Organic Edible Gardening Workshop on March 8, 2014
• California Friendly Landscape Workshops on March 22, 2014 and June 21, 2014

The City of Pasadena reminds the community of the following citywide water waste prohibitions:

• No watering outdoors between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. or during periods of rain;
• No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches from watering or irrigating;
• No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation, in which case a bucket, a hose with a shut-off nozzle must be used;
• All property owners must fix leaks, breaks or malfunctions when they find them, or within seven days of receiving a notice from PWP;
• Vehicles must be washed with a hand-held bucket and/or hose equipped with a water shut-off nozzle;
• Restaurants may not serve drinking water unless by patron’s request;
• Hotels and motels must give guests the option to decline daily bed linen and towel changes.

PWP will continue monitor the California water supply situation and will update the City Council and community if tighter water use restrictions are required.

For a complete list of water waste prohibitions please visit

For more information about Pasadena water, please visit

For more information about the City of Pasadena visit


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