L.A. a step closer to new water-ration plan

LOS ANGELES Residents don't seem to mind the proposed change to the water-rationing schedule.

The /*Los Angeles City Council*/ has tentatively approved a change in the /*L.A. Department of Water and Power*/'s water-rationing schedule. Instead of watering lawns twice a week for 15 minutes at a time, the schedule would change to three days a week for 8 minutes each session.

Though the total watering time is 24 minutes per week versus the previous 30, city leaders say adding a third day will help keep lawns from turning brown.

"I like the idea because we can water three times a week," said Sherman Oaks resident Rick Pepper. "And I think with twice a week it's not enough, and everything seems to be drying up."

"I think it's important to conserve on water, but there's got to be a benefit if people do the right things, then the DWP has got to maintain their end of the bargain and help the people out by not raising the rates," said Bel Air resident Ron Cornell.

Aside from resident complaints about their lawns drying up, city leaders said a rash of water-main breaks prompted the 12-to-1 vote in favor of the schedule change Wednesday.

The concern stems from a 2009 study that suggested the dramatic swings in water pressure from the two-day-per-week schedule was partially to blame for last year's pipe ruptures that flooded a number of homes and businesses.

Under the new proposed watering rules, odd-numbered addresses should water lawns on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; even-numbered addresses would water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Yet some believe we're not doing enough to conserve water.

"I have three kids, and I'll leave the planet way before them," said Tarzana resident William Sager. "Water's a very precious resource."

The proposed ordinance will go before the city council next week, when only eight votes will be required to pass. If it does pass, it's expected to be signed by the mayor in a couple of weeks.

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