LADWP urges customers to conserve water after unusually early, rapid snowmelt in Eastern Sierra

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is urging L.A. customers to conserve more water after an unusually early, and rapid, snowmelt in the Eastern Sierra.

Officials say that at the beginning of April, the snowpack was 41% of normal.

Less than two weeks later, the level dropped to 22%, which is equivalent to almost five inches of water.

"We've had three consecutive record-dry months during the third year of dry conditions," DWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams said. "That, combined with the early-season snowmelt and the anticipated limited availability of State Water Project supplies, has put the city's water supply in a critical situation. This is a time for all of us to be vigilant in saving water wherever possible."

The DWP conducts snow surveys from February to April at six locations in the Eastern Sierra where snowmelt feeds into the Los Angeles Aqueduct, one of four major water sources for Los Angeles.

Along with the aqueduct and local groundwater, the DWP receives water from the State Water Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct, both water supplies purchased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The utility is one of the few water agencies across the state to mandate water use restrictions continually since 2009. It has remained in Phase 2 of the City's Water Conservation Ordinance, in place since 2009, which limits outdoor watering to three days a week, along with other permanently prohibited uses of water.

Due to the changing supply conditions, the DWP said it may issue more restrictions in the coming months.

City News Service Inc. contributed to this report.
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