L.A. water use plummets during hot summer amid calls to conserve during drought
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles is facing its first summer of record-breaking water use.
And despite the city’s efforts to conserve, there are calls for the City Council to consider tougher restrictions.
“If we’re really serious about conservation, then we should be doing everything in our power to save our water,” said Bob Vela, a real estate broker currently on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Vela believes it is time the city’s residential water consumption dropped to as few as two to three gallons a day. In the city’s busiest areas, about a quarter of a million homes are on the water.
That may not sound like a lot, but it is compared to what has been standard in Los Angeles for decades. Since 1950, monthly water use statewide has hovered around one gallon per person per day for the typical residential household.
But that would be a dramatic improvement for the city, which has been one of the worst water consumers in the U.S. for decades, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.
In response to a steady onslaught of calls for conservation, the city has introduced several conservation programs.
But residents say their efforts have been ignored by the City Council, which has steadfastly rejected calls for stronger, more consistent restrictions.
The council voted 7-3 Monday night to approve a proposed budget that would restore $18 million to the water rates for residential customers within the city during the first six months of fiscal year 2015-16.
But the council rejected a proposal from Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson to require more frequent restrictions as part of the budget.
“There has to be a balance here,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who voted against the proposal. “We can’t continue to be at the rate we