City officials are asking residents to cut back on water use while staff determine the impact of recent mandates approved by the Governor.

In January 2015, the Santa Monica City Council adopted an updated Water Shortage Response Plan and re-declared a stage two water supply shortage, requiring mandatory conservation. Staff said Council’s direction to mandate reductions comes at a crucial time, as the Executive Order issued this week by Governor Brown requires a statewide water reduction of 25 percent.

To achieve the statewide reduction as ordered by the Governor, the State Water Resources Control Board will soon be determining what specific water conservation measures urban water agencies like the City of Santa Monica must undertake to achieve 25 percent reduction in water use. Due to advanced planning the City was poised to rollout water allowances later this month but staff said it is unknown whether these recently adopted water allowances, will need to be altered by the future state restrictions. The City said Santa Monica will fully cooperate in the State’s water conservation efforts and if necessary, the City will implement additional water conservation measures and adjust water allocations once state restrictions are established.

While the timeline for implementing water usage allocations may change, the statewide water restrictions emphasize the need to save water now. The City of Santa Monica will continue to support businesses and residents by offering a number of services and incentives to help. The most popular water saving rebate, the Sustainable Landscape Rebate, reimburses $3.50 for each square-foot of lawn removed and replaced with climate-appropriate plants and City specified drip irrigation. Customers may also take advantage of a new service that offers a two-hour landscape design consultation with a professional landscape designer for a small fee starting April 15, 2015.

Free Water Use Consultations are available for residents and businesses that want help figuring out how to save water. During the consultation, one of the City’s water conservation experts will check for leaks and provide specific recommendations and resources.

“This package of incentives the city is providing supports the Governor’s mandatory conservation goals and helps us weather the statewide drought while bringing us closer to Santa Monica’s water independence by 2020,” said Dean Kubani, Manager of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

Santa Monica has already taken several steps to reduce municipal water use and will be implementing additional water savings measures over the next few months.

For more information about these programs, practical water-saving measures and rebates, visit www.smgov.net/water or call (310) 458-8972.

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