Water officials: Be stingy

Glendale Water & Power employee Willie Ortiz, left, shows Glendale residents Jennifer and Alen Zehnaly how a water meter works.
(Raul Roa, Glendale News Press)

With summer temperatures starting to take hold, Glendale Water & Power has seen a slight increase in customer water usage, officials said.

Glendale customers recently logged a 3% increase in water use, worrying some officials that compliance with conservation rules might be waning as summer heat approaches. Irrigation throughout the region is limited to just three days a week. In Glendale, the ordinance led to an overall 18% drop in water usage.

“We are hoping people will take the water conservation message to heart,” said Peter Kavounas, general manager for water services at Glendale Water & Power.

Rainstorms during the winter months briefly helped to replenish water supplies, but he said California remains in a drought.


The utility saw conservation efforts slip among customers after the wet months.

“We don’t want to see that trend continue,” said the utility’s spokeswoman, Atineh Haroutunian.

Diminishing water supplies also prompted the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in April to raise rates they charge member agencies, like Glendale and Burbank, by 15% over the next two years.

The utilities in the Crescenta Valley, Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank have been working together to promote the mandatory three-day watering schedule to their customers.


Water usage among foothill residents always tends to increase during the summer, but they have been conserving, said Dennis Erdman, Crescenta Valley Water District’s general manager.

Many residents who live and work in the four regions were confused about the watering schedule because it was different in each district, said Christy Scott, a program specialist with the water district.

The Tri-City Water Conservation Group formed last year in response to residential complaints about the confusing watering schedules, officials said. The group has also consolidated their outreach efforts to save on costs and maintain a unified front.

The group is planning to launch an ad campaign next week, Scott said.

The districts will also provide residents with information brochures that include indoor and outdoor water conservation tips.

Residents are restricted to irrigating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for 10 minutes per watering station between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

For the record: An an earlier version of this story gave the incorrect mandatory hours for watering landscape. The correct hours are between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.