Residents and businesses in areas of greater Los Angeles County, including Beverly Hills, are being asked to suspend outdoor water use for two weeks as repairs to a major pipeline will stretch already thin resources.
Earlier this year, a leak was discovered in the Upper Feeder Reservoir, which delivers water from the parched Colorado River to Southern California. To repair the leak, crews from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) will have to shut down from Sept. 6 to Sept. 20. The pipeline had previously been operating at a reduced capacity while crews decided on the best permanent solution.
The call comes as the Colorado River and Lake Mead, two critical water sources for Californians, flow at historic lows and summer temperatures soar across the region. Although the shutdown is not immediately drought-related, officials say it’s still important to help conserve resources.
Some areas of the shutdown have already been dealing with strict water use restrictions for several months.
“It’s like we’re sharing the pool,” said Shana Epstein, director of the Beverly Hills Public Works Department. “That’s why we’re asking everybody to be mindful of how much water they use. That will be less impactful to only have that resource when this fix is done.”
“We need to make this urgent repair to ensure this infrastructure can continue serving Southern California in the immediate term and for years to come,” said MWD water system operations manager Brent Yamasaki in a statement. “We don’t take this call lightly, but it is what is needed at this time.”
MWD is calling for limited water usage in the communities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando, and Torrance, as well as Central Basin Municipal Water District, Foothill Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District and West Basin Municipal Water District.
During the repairs, these communities will receive water from the California State Water Project (SWP), not from the MWD, according to Epstein. SWP resources are incredibly limited and customers who receive that water are already subject to pre-existing watering restrictions.
“The repair is a permanent solution for this moment,” Epstein said. “MWD is looking at other large capital improvement projects that will be able to move different sources of water to their customers.”
The Beverly Hills Public Works Department and the MWD recommend the following conservation measures:
Eliminate all outdoor watering.
Do not mow your lawn.
Put a bucket in your shower to collect water as the shower warms up. Use this water to hand water houseplants and sensitive outdoor plants as well as areas of the lawn that may show excessive stress.
Take short showers (5-minute max).
Do not leave water running when washing dishes. Fill a small bin or bucket with water to wash your dishes in and when you’re done, use that water for trees or lawns.
Run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
Do not leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.
For more information, please call Beverly Hills Public Works Customer Service at 310-285-2467 or email email@example.com.