California's Drought and Water Conservation
California is in the midst of a fifth consecutive severe drought year, and snowpack in the key Sierra Nevada watershed was less than 5 percent of normal, an all-time low. Consequently on April 1, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order mandating a statewide reduction in urban potable (drinking) water usage of 25 percent. In early May, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCF) issued formal regulations implementing this order, which applies only to potable water. Recycled water is not in short supply and is exempt from these requirements. Many of our parks use recycled supplies.The Governor's Executive Order focus on these main action areas:
- Save Water- Overall reduction urban potable water use of 25 percent
- Increase enforcement against water waste
- Streamline government response to drought and new water projects
- Invest in new technologies to mitigate future drought
Torrance Water Conversation Ordinance
In 2009, the Torrance City Council adopted a Water Conservation Ordinance (Ordinance 3717) to prohibit wasteful uses of water, place certain restrictions on water use and encourage sustained conservation. The Ordinance has four stages (Permanent Baseline Measured, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Stages), which are enacted in response to the water supply conditions. On August 9, 2016, City Council approved deactivation of Level 2 water requirements due to the improved water supplies. While conditions have improved, it is imperative that residents continue to conserve water and practice water-wise tips.
The Conservation Ordinance applies to the entire City regardless of retail water supplier.
Base Level -Water Use Requirements and Regulations
- Calls for ongoing water conservation
- No outside watering between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Outdoor watering limited to 15 minutes per area or irrigation station
- Fix all leaks within 15 days
- No watering 48 hours after rain event
- Allows Torrance to adapt to changing water conditions
Permanent Requirements In Effect at all Times
- No excessive runoff from outdoor watering
- No washing of exterior surfaces
- No washing of vehicles with "open hose"
- All water features must have a re-circulating system
- Restaurants to use water conserving spray valves
- Restaurants to serve water only upon request
- Lodging business must provide option not to launder linens daily
Click here to report excessive water usage
Conservation is the key - What we conserve today we preserve for tomorrow!
Over the past 20 years, the Southern California region has invested more than $12 billion in water storage, reliability and conservation programs to ensure sustainability of our water resources, such Diamond Valley Reservoir, located in Hemet, which doubled regional water storage reserves. For more information on the California Drought please visit CaliforniaDrought.org
Since 2000, our capita use has been reduced by about 30 percent due to the conservation efforts of our customers. We are confident that with your continued cooperation we will continue to conserve water. The City is also diversifying its water supply to meet needs of our residents. Torrance is developing several new sources of local supplies including the development of new groundwater wells in north Torrance and expansion of a groundwater desalination plant to remove salts from brackish water and provide 20 percent of our potable requirements. In addition, the recycled water system which is used for non-potable industrial and landscape purposes is in the process being expanded. Together these projects will reduce our dependence on imported water supplies by 50 percent and will help drought-proof the community and lower long-term water costs.
The City has implemented a variety of conservation efforts to reduce its water use. Almost all toilets and urinals in City-owned facilities were replaced with water-efficient models. In addition, all City parks were recently retrofitted with "smart irrigation controllers" to minimize watering requirements. Currently aerators are being installed on all faucets to further reduce water use.
California Friendly Landscape Training Classes
Take advantage of the many conservation rebate programs and water-efficient landscape classes offered by the City and our partnering agencies.