The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The nation's second-largest city cut water use by an overall 17 percent in July compared to a year earlier, officials said Wednesday.
Southern California is facing a water shortage because of drought and regulatory restrictions on supplies, and the city of Los Angeles has made broad appeals for conservation, imposed restrictions on landscape irrigation, raised rates and fielded inspectors to look for violators and issue fines.
The Department of Water and Power, which has 680,000 water customers and 1.4 million electric customers, said single-familyhomes cut water use nearly 21 percent, multifamily properties cut use more than 8 percent, businesses cut usage nearly 22 percent and government properties reduced usage more than 34 percent.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement that he was encouraged because the city must reduce its reliance on imported water and the cutbacks came during the summer.
The reduction may have been aided by weeks of unusually mild weather before the onset of more typical heat this week.
Huge reductions in electricity usage were also reported.
The DWP saved a record 318 gigawatt-hours for the fiscal year ending June 30, an amount that equals removal of 53,000 households from the grid and avoids 178,700 metric tons of greenhouses gases.
"We are making healthy strides in the right direction," said David Nahai, the DWP's chief executive officer and general manager.