The Pasadena City Council on Monday declared the City will face a Level 4 Water Shortage Emergency during the temporary, eight-day shutdown of a major regional water pipeline, February 21 through February 28. The measure approved by the Council authorizes the City to enforce a total ban on outdoor watering, with very few exceptions, until pipeline deliveries resume.
Similar to a pipeline shutdown in 2011, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) will stop all water deliveries to Pasadena and neighboring cities in order to perform vital system repairs and upgrades at its Eagle Rock Tower in Eagle Rock and at its Weymouth Treatment Plant in LaVerne. For eight days, February 21-28, Pasadena must rely solely on its groundwater and reserves—and water conservation. MWD normally supplies about 60 percent of Pasadena's water needs.
"Even though this temporary cut in our water supply is severe, we are confident that Pasadena will once again rise to the challenge and cut back on daily water use, so that we all have enough water for drinking and vital indoor uses," Pasadena Water and Power General Manager Phyllis Currie said.
"During the 2011 water shortage emergency, our customers exceeded all expectations and helped us cut back water use by more than 30 percent. We believe they will rally this time again," Currie said.
Prior to the MWD pipeline shutdown, PWP will fill its 18 reservoirs with about 80 million gallons of local groundwater and water imported from MWD. Although normal consumption during this period is about 22 million gallons per day, local groundwater wells only produce a maximum of 12 million gallons per day, making heightened conservation during the shutdown critical, particularly outdoors.
"We have no other feasible source to fill that gap in our water supply, and if there are delays in the repairs, or should we lose one of our wells due to a mechanical or electrical issue, we could be in real trouble," according to Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) Assistant General Manager of Water Shan Kwan. "The only solution to avoid running out of water is to curb demand and be self-sustaining, which means a temporary ban on outdoor watering, our city's greatest use of water."
"Our horticultural consultants advise that most established plants and lawns can hold up well without water for eight days, and much longer in this cooler weather," said PWP Water Conservation Manager Nancy Long. "We are telling our customers to consider rescheduling any new landscaping plans, since plants that aren't yet established are much more vulnerable."
"We've already reached out to our large customers, and we are mailing a citywide notice to help everyone get ready well in advance," said Currie.
More information on the watering ban, pointers for how to prepare, and daily updates during the shutdown can be found at www.pwpweb.com/shutdown, on Facebook (Pasadena Water and Power) and on Twitter (@PWPNews). Additional information will be posted on the City's homepage, www.cityofpasadena.net and the City's main Twitter account www.twitter.com/pasadenagov (@PasadenaGov). Water-waste violations can be reported through the Water Shortage Hotline at (626) 744-8888.
For more information about the City of Pasadena, go online to www.cityofpasadena.net.