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Agencies prep for less water

Current efforts like reduced lawn watering may become mandatory.

April 18, 2009|By Jason Wells

Glendale has managed to curtail its thirst by only about 4% despite a yearlong campaign to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 10%, increasing the likelihood of mandatory controls this summer, General Manager Glenn Steiger said.

“Now, it’s going to be a little bit more than voluntary,” he said.

Unlike other agencies, Glendale Water & Power will wait until after the restrictions are in place to address any possible amendments to the water rate structure, he added.

In terms of telling customers they might have to pay more to use less, water officials conceded that it would be a tough pill to swallow, but one that years of unchanged behavior, combined with worsening environmental factors, had forced agencies to administer.

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State water allocations to Southern California have decreased in the face of lower snow pack levels and tougher environmental restrictions on pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

At the same time, regional water reserves are deteriorating, and the Colorado River is still trying to recover from eight years of record drought, according to the Metropolitan Water District.

Taken together, the water picture is shaping up to be what it was during the harsh drought years of the early 1990s, the last time mandatory water rationing was instituted, officials said.

“This isn’t a revenue thing; this is a reduce-your-water- use thing,” Davis said.


 JASON WELLS covers Glendale City Hall. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at jason.wells@ latimes.com.

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