Mayor Garcetti orders tough new water restrictions for Los Angeles

In an effort to conserve water as California continues to suffer through the worst drought in its recorded history, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti directed the city to reduce its use of fresh water by 20% over the next three years.

Garcetti is also setting off a gardening boom in the city. He has called on city departments to replace lawns and other thirsty plants with more drought-friendly alternatives on city land. That order will include street medians and other landscaping on city property.

There is also more emphasis being placed on water self-reliance. The city's Department of Water and Power has ben instructed to reduce its purchases of imported water by 50% by the year 2024. 

Garcetti’s announcement did not include any new mandatory restrictions announced for residents. But the mayor did ask Angelinos to voluntarily reduce their outdoor watering to two days a week. The mayor reminded residents about DWP rebates available to install landscaping that is drought-resistant, and urged city residents to install more efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances.

If water reduction targets are not met by 2017 via a combination of mandatory city actions and voluntary steps by residents, residential restrictions will be mandated -- including restrictions on watering and washing cars.