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Community faces voluntary water restrictions

Alejandra Aguilar
Staff Writer

The city of La Verne has enacted voluntary water conservation restrictions after Gov. Jerry Brown made a statewide call for regulations at the beginning of the year.

The city of La Verne imports 70 percent of its water from the Bay Delta in Northern California and the Colorado River, something common in Southern California due to the large population.

Due to the severe statewide drought, the city council is asking residents of La Verne to reduce the water they use by 10 percent.

“Even though we think we are going to be okay with the water supply this year, it’s always important to conserve water,” J.R. Ranells, city of La Verne senior management analyst, said.

According to Ranells, water is an important economic driver, and it is affecting Central Valley Agriculture heavily.

They do not have enough water to grow their crops and that has become a national problem quickly.

Northern California is the part of the state that is having more precarious issues. Conserving water anywhere else in the state helps them.

If residents do not cooperate with voluntary restrictions, mandatory ones will be put in place.

The last time the city council enacted a mandatory restriction was in 2009.

“Our council has enacted voluntary measures in the past and our community has gone over and above with what we have asked for,” Ranells said.

Ranells said that even if it rains a couple of days, people should continue to conserve water, because it will not make a big dent on the drought.

Rain will come down all at once, but snow is what is needed as it will melt slowly and the water will last much longer.

“You want snow because it acts as a natural reservoir – it slowly releases water,” Ranells said.

The city of La Verne is also encouraging residents to remove the turf from their front lawns to help, because 60 to 70 percent of water used in a household is used outside.

Resident, Christina Lambell, was not aware the city had enacted voluntary restrictions, but she is not affected by it.

“I always try to reduce the water my family intakes, so it’s not a change for me,” Lambell said.

“Grass takes a lot of water and in this climate, it’s not an appropriate medium to grow,” Cindy DeChaine, conservation and resource analyst for the Three Valleys Municipal District, said.

“Grass is not a necessary plant. We just like the way it looks,” she said.

Ranells said there are different varieties of beautiful and native plants that do not need daily irrigation. To facilitate this, La Verne is offering turf removal services for $1 per square foot.

The city is offering classes and rebates so that residents can learn about and change their irrigation devices.

They are also partnering with Orchard Supply Hardware to put on a conservation fair.

They will be contacting large consumers like the Hillcrest Homes so they can have a professional look at their landscape and water use, something that is paid by the Metropolitan Water District and the city.

Newer and better devices can decrease the amount of run off water, making our water healthier.

“When we save water, we save energy,” DeChaine said. “It doesn’t show up on our bill but we are saving the state energy.”

Both Ranells and DeChaine hope that it snows heavily and that people continue to cooperate with them.

Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at alejandra.aguilar@laverne.edu.

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