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City responds to drought

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Megan Sebestyen
Staff Writer

With mandatory water restrictions on the horizon this summer, the La Verne City Council this week adopted a resolution and an ordinance calling for voluntary water reduction in the city.

“We’ve gone through this before and we’ve learned to use water wisely,” La Verne City Manager Martin R. Lomeli said.

The Metropolitan Water District, which controls the water from Ventura County to Mexico, informed Jeanette A. Vagnozzi, administrative supervisor of public works, that water restrictions will be in effect this summer.

Vagnozzi presented this information during Monday’s semi-monthly council meeting.

“When Metropolitan imposes water restrictions, we want to be ready,” Vagnozzi said.

Ordinance No. 1009, which the council approved unanimously, imposes 10 percent voluntary water restrictions on La Verne residents and public places, such as parks.

Restrictions will be imposed on “passive” parks, those that do not contain active sports facilities.

Public spaces like Bonita High School’s field, with “active sports fields” will remain free from water restrictions.

Households will receive restrictions according to their size.

If mandatory water restrictions are in place this summer, then families will pay a fine if they exceed their water allotment.

“The wave is just beginning and you’ll be aware of that,” Lomeli said. He said city property will be noticeably affected by these restrictions.

“You’ll see brown medians,” Lomeli said.

Resolution No. 09-17 which also was passed by the council, declares phase one of an emergency water shortage.

While proposing the ordinance and resolution, Vagnozzi said incentives and education would be offered to the public regarding these water restrictions.

“It’s important to provide workshops or some type of public information regarding water reduction,” said Council Member Donna Nasmyth.

Lomeli said the community has responded well to water restrictions in the past.

“As a community we have conserved our fair share,” Lomeli said. “The last time we went through this we had a very positive reaction.”

Lomeli replaced his own front lawn with synthetic turf.

These restrictions will be noticeable in more than just brown lawns, though.

According to Lomeli, restaurants will stop serving water to customers unless they request it.

According to the Water Education Water Awareness Committee, the city of La Verne became one of the original charter signatories of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Urban Water Conservation Best Management Practices.

This document established the California Urban Water Conservation Council as well as the initial list of conservation Best Management Practices.

Today, La Verne shapes water conservation efforts around these practices.

La Verne has an aggressive maintenance program to replace old or damaged water supply lines and meters.

According to this committee, La Verne implemented to improve water efficiency in institutionalized settings like schools, restaurants and retirement homes.Under this program, efficient equipment like toilets, washers and spray nozzles were installed.

Megan Sebestyen can be reached at megan.sebestyen@laverne.edu.

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