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New law to force water conservation

April 22, 2009 12:26:51 PM PDT
For the second time in a week, the Los Angeles City Council tightened restrictions on water usage.Council members adopted new restrictions with a 11-0 vote on Tuesday, limiting lawn watering to Mondays and Thursdays beginning June 1.

In the Valley Village area, some residents welcomed the news because runoff from landscape watering apparently forms a large puddle at one intersection.

"We call this Lake Valley Village. This is where all the water from people who don't adjust their sprinklers, goes, drives me nuts," said Rick Hall, a Valley Village resident.

Residents seem to understand their lawns will probably suffer.

"It probably will a little bit, but you know, it's not the end of the world, either," said Laura Hall.

The council's action happened on the same day that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a new statewide Save Our Water campaign. As California is in the third year of drought, the governor said now is the time to take action.

A week ago, the city council set a surcharge on homeowners who waste water. The surcharge will be imposed on customers who do not reduce water use by 15 percent from a level the DWP determines. Customers can find out the water allowance for their property by calling (800) DIAL-DWP.

"Water conservation is a huge problem, and we need to be a part of it," said Jerilynn Stephens, a Valley Village resident.

Since last August, Los Angeles residents have been prohibited from using a sprinkler system between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays and from washing down driveways and sidewalks without a hose fitted with a shutoff valve.

Restaurants were prohibited from giving customers water without a specific request.

The Metropolitan Water District predicts the water supply to the region will drop 20 percent this year.

The DWP will have crews driving around looking for people violating the water law. If you get caught the first time, it's just a warning, but a second offense is $100 fine.

Eyewitness News Reporters John Gregory and Leslie Sykes contributed to this report.


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