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Home / News / Environment / LA residents not shy about reporting water waste

LA residents not shy about reporting water waste

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Los Angeles residents apparently have no patience for water-wasters during the current drought.

During the first six months of the year, the city’s MyLA311 system received 1,643 reports about water waste or people violating irrigation rules, more than double the number from the first half of last year, according to data released Monday by a nonprofit news organization.

Data compiled by Crosstown at USC, a nonprofit news organization based at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, showed that 589 reports of water waste or other violations were made to the MyLA311 system in June alone, up from 314 in May.

Prior to March, the system had never received more than 200 water-waste complaints in a single month, according to Crosstown. During the first six months of 2021, only 752 such reports were made to the system, which is accessible online or by calling 311.

The Department of Water and Power’s separate online portal for customers to file complaints has also seen a spike, receiving 672 such complaints between June 1 and June 14 — 14% more than the number received in the entire month of June last year.

“We’re very encouraged by the increase in water waste complaints we have received,” DWP’s Ellen Cheng told Crosstown. “It shows people are taking the drought seriously and trying to cut back their use as well as reporting on potential violations of the ordinance.”

New water restrictions took effect in the city on June 1, but state and local officials have been urging residents for months to conserve water in the face of a protracted drought.

The city’s restrictions limit outdoor watering to two days per week, down from three, with watering permitted at odd-numbered street addresses on Mondays and Fridays, and at even-numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays.

Watering with sprinklers is limited to eight minutes per station. Sprinklers with water-conserving nozzles is limited to 15 minutes per station. All watering must be done in the evening or early morning, with no watering permitted outdoors between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

City officials announced last week that calls for conservation appear to be working. June’s water use in the city was down 9% from last June and was the all-time lowest water use for any month of June on record.

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