L.A. is taking a different path on severe watering restrictions. Here’s how it will work

An automated sprinkler waters grass in front of homes in Alhambra.
Watering restrictions from the L.A. Department of Water and Power are designed to achieve at least a 35% reduction in water consumption.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

Los Angeles residents now know the plan for significantly cutting water use beginning June 1.

The Department of Water and Power differs in some key ways from other local agencies that are struggling with unprecedented water restrictions due to the drought.

The restrictions, ordered by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, target areas that rely heavily or entirely on the State Water Project, a Northern California water supply that officials say is dangerously low after the state’s driest-ever start to the year.


Unprecedented cuts in water use will require sacrifices for Southern California.

May 2, 2022

The plan was designed to achieve at least a 35% reduction in water consumption, which can be done through volumetric allocations or one-day-a-week watering limitations.

Here’s what you need to know about the DWP plan, which applies to all 4 million residents in their city of Los Angeles service area:

What to expect

  • Residents will be assigned two watering days a week based on their addresses — Monday and Friday for odd addresses and Thursday and Sunday for even ones.
  • Watering will be capped at only eight minutes, or 15 minutes for sprinklers with water-conserving nozzles.
  • Exceptions for drip irrigation and hand watering will remain in place.
  • No watering will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. regardless of the watering days.
  • Those who don’t comply with the new rules will receive a warning, followed by escalating fines for each subsequent violation.
  • The DWP will also ramp up patrols to look for people violating rules or wasting water.
  • Officials are issuing a call for residents to use pool covers to decrease water loss from evaporation.

As parts of Southern California fall under new water restrictions, other regions offer lessons in how to shrink water use and adapt to drier times.

May 8, 2022

What is the goal?

  • The DWP opted not to scale back to one-day-a-week watering rules. Instead, it will focus on staying at or below a monthly volumetric allocation, officials said.
  • The rules will apply to everyone in the DWP’s coverage area — not just those that are dependent on State Water Project supplies, which have been hit hard by the drought.
  • DWP officials said their customers are already averaging about 112 gallons per person per day, less than half that of some other nearby agencies. The combination of two-day-a-week watering across the entire service area, enhanced conservation efforts and other local supplies means they can cap residents at about 105 gallons per person per day and still stay within the MWD’s allotment.

Water suppliers in parts of Southern California were ordered to impose severe water restrictions. Details of the new rules are starting to take shape.

May 5, 2022

Conservation help available to DWP customers

Here are some of the programs offered by the DWP:

  • $3 per square foot rebate for turf replacement for up to 5,000 square feet per project for residential and commercial customers
  • $500 for high-efficiency clothes washers
  • $250 for high-efficiency toilets
  • $500 for zero and ultra low water urinals
  • $6 for rotating sprinkler nozzles
  • Free bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators
  • Free high-efficiency showerheads
VIDEO | 05:51
LA Times Today: What to know about L.A.’s severe water restrictions

Watch L.A. Times Today at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News 1 on Channel 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News App. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch on Cox Systems on channel 99.