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Long Beach Declares ‘Imminent’ Water Supply Shortage

LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Residents in the city of Long Beach are facing tighter water use restrictions after officials voted unanimously Thursday to declare an “imminent” water supply shortage.

The declaration by the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners effectively prohibits various water usage types, including restrictions on landscape irrigation with water to three days a week and serving drinking water to any customer in a restaurant or other public place unless expressly requested by the customer.

The new prohibitions are in addition to several permanent citywide water use prohibitions in effect as part of what Long Beach Water Department (LBWD) officials called “preemptive action taken to strengthen the reliability of the city’s water supply in the midst of a looming statewide water shortage.”

RELATED: Committees Approve $687 Million In Drought Relief

Under current rules, residents are already prohibited from irrigating landscape with potable water between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; washing a vehicle with a hose when the hose does not have a water shut-off nozzle; irrigating landscape in a manner that results in unreasonable runoff; and washing driveways, sidewalks, or other outdoor areas with any hose not considered to be a water-conserving pressurized cleaning device, according to the LBWD.

Harry Saltzgaver, President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners, said despite the move and a statewide drought conditions, the city remains poised to recover from the shortage.

“We are fortunate to be in good shape in terms of water supply as we face this drought thanks to the prudent policies put in place by our predecessors and our staff during and after the last dry spell,” said Saltzgaver.

During the drought of 2007-2009, citywide water use in Long Beach decreased by nearly 20 percent, while per capita water use fell to below 110 gallons per day, one of the lowest rates in California, according to LBWD officials.

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