La Cañadans heed warnings, use less water

Locals are apparently heeding warnings about the importance of conserving water in a period of statewide drought, according to figures recently released by Foothill Municipal Water District.

Customer water demands for the month of July were 13% lower compared to July 2013, and 16% lower than the amount residents used in July 2012, FMWD officials said in a statement issued Aug. 20.

“Foothill Municipal Water District would like to thank residents in its service area for their conservation efforts and urges [them] to continue reducing demands on potable water,” the statement read.

Conservation efforts can also be seen in the retailer’s yearly figures, which show the per capita daily water use within the city of La Cañada Flintridge decreased from 310 gallons in the 2008-09 fiscal year to 280 gallons in 2012-13.

“About 70% of water use in the FMWD service area is for outdoor irrigation,” said General Manager Nina Jazmadarian. “Replacing thirsty lawns with drought-tolerant, native plantings will help the consumer save a significant amount of water.”

With the current drought status designation of yellow — urging extraordinary, but still voluntary, conservation — water retailers have been trying to rein in usage.

In August, a ruling by the State Water Resources Control Board allowed municipalities the right to fine observable water wasters $500 for failing to conserve the precious resource. Although local retailers have no plans to harshly punish offenders, they are increasing awareness efforts.

“With the decreasing likelihood of an El Niño bringing wet weather to the state this winter, it is important that customers continue to conserve,” stated FMWD Board President Richard Atwater.

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