Las Virgenes residents curb water use

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District reports a 33 percent reduction in June water usage when compared to the same month in 2013.

The report has been submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board in compliance with the state’s drought emergency policies.

The June reduction builds on the 28 percent conservation figure recorded in May.

As part of its response to California’s drought emergency, the SWRCB established conservation goals for every urban water agency based on total usage divided by the population served by that agency, using the standard “gallons per capita per day.”

LVMWD fell into the highest grouping and has been given the conservation goal of 36 percent, using 2013 as the base year for comparison.

Agencies that do not reach their goals can face state-imposed penalties of up to $10,000 per day, which would ultimately be borne by ratepayers.

“We have not implemented special drought rates or surcharges. With the cooperation of our customers, we should be able to reach our conservation target without resorting to those methods,” said David W. Pedersen, LVMWD general manager.

LVMWD has offered customers programs that include lawn replacement incentives, rebates on high-efficiency toilets, washing machines and other devices, and water-wise garden and landscape classes.

The district has engaged in meetings with individual homeowner associations and business interests on ways they can reduce water usage.

Many homeowners have replaced water-thirsty grass with drought-tolerant and native plants that will result in sustainable water savings.

Pedersen also recognized the conservation efforts of the cities and schools within the district’s service area, saying Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village and Las Virgenes Unified School District have all taken positive steps by using recycled water wherever possible and eliminating the use of potable water to maintain grass medians.

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