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Taking steps to prevent a drought

September 25, 2002

Laura Sturza

With California on the verge of a drought, residents are urged to

use low-cost techniques to stave off a water emergency -- and

ultimately save money.

"We have just completed a year with the lowest recorded rainfall

in the history of Los Angeles or San Diego," Burbank Water and Power

Director Ron Davis said. "There are cities that are already on strict

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water rationing."

The only reason Gov. Gray Davis has not declared it a drought is

because of stored water, Davis said.

It pays to conserve, but exact savings estimates depend on

household use. Rebates of up to $75 each are available from BWP to

replace toilets with low-flush models.

The greatest drain on water is from outdoor use, officials said,

with sprinklers aimed at sidewalks, rather than grass. Landscaping

with native plants and watering lawns early in the morning when less

of it can evaporate in the heat of the day are two conservation

tactics.

Burbank used 6% less water this summer, which Davis attributes to

mild weather and conservation efforts. He hopes residents will

continue to be aware of water usage.

"We would ask everyone to conserve so that the shortages that have

hit other cities don't hit us," Davis said.

BWP's Conservation Services program can be reached at 238-3730 or

www.burbank- utilities.com.

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