LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — As much of the Southland struggles to curb water waste amid a statewide drought, Long Beach is set to make history for some of its lowest water usage in nearly 60 years.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports city officials credit public outreach efforts with helping to change longstanding consumer habits.

Mayor Robert Garcia announced the achievement last Friday and credited Long Beach water officials and residents with taking steps to reduce water waste by using reclaimed water whenever possible, restaurants refraining from offering water unless requested and homeowners installing native plant beds instead of water-intensive lawns.

“It isn’t easy to reduce water usage, but Long Beach is a role model in conservation, and I know we will continue to be responsible and smart with this most precious resource,” Garcia said in a statement.

Long Beach Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier said in July consumers citywide used the lowest amount of water since 1958 – and the city could keep up that pace in August.

“That’s despite a population increase of 45 percent since then,” said Wattier. “I looked at our August numbers this morning and it looks like we’ll be setting another record about like that in August.”

Officials are also tackling the issue on the legislative front: Metropolitan Water District General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said the district is working with Governor Jerry Brown to get a water bond on the November ballot.

The Board of Water Commissioners in February declared a water supply shortage that put into effect certain water prohibitions, including irrigating landscape with potable water any day other than Monday, Thursday, or Saturday and washing a vehicle with a hose when the hose does not have a water shutoff nozzle or device attached to it.


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