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Laguna Beach calls for a voluntary reduction in water usage

Beachgoers enter the water in front of a tower at Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach.
Laguna Beach was named one of five national winners in the 9th annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation last year. There were 4,901 residents who made pledges to cut water usage by 15.6 million gallons.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Laguna Beach city officials are asking residents and local businesses to continue to fight persistent drought conditions by reducing the amount of water they use.

The appeal to the community comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom called on Californians to voluntarily scale back their water usage by 15% to combat dry weather conditions contributing to drought throughout much of the state.

“We’re concerned about what another dry year will bring, and because of that, we are asking residents to do simple, common-sense things to stretch our water supplies,” Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen said in a prepared statement issued this week. “If we continue to get dry year after dry year, there’s going to come a time when we will again be faced with mandatory reductions.

“Every gallon of water saved today is water that is available in our future, and I urge all Laguna Beach residents and businesses to do what they can do to reduce consumption.”

Newsom has declared a regional drought state of emergency for 50 counties in the state. Southern California was not part of the area covered in that order.

Laguna Beach was named one of five national winners in the 9th annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation last year. There were 4,901 residents who made pledges to cut water usage by 15.6 million gallons.

Other cities to be named among the nation’s most water-wise municipalities were North Port (Fla.), Lakeland (Fla.), Dallas and Sacramento.

“The City of Laguna Beach is committed to sustainable water resources management and water conservation,” Laguna Beach City Manager Shohreh Dupuis said in a news release.

“Our efficient water use practices include turf removal where feasible to reduce irrigation consumption, use of smart irrigation controllers and modified irrigation schedule, and waterless or extra low-fixtures at almost all city facilities.

“Since 2018, our conservation efforts through irrigation testing and time reduction have reduced the city’s water consumption by an average [of] 1,737,000 gallons per year at Main Beach Park alone.”

Some suggested ways to contribute to the water conservation effort include keeping showers to less than five minutes, reducing the number of days for outdoor watering per week, and utilizing dishwashers and washing machines less often.

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