NEWPORT BEACH ( — New water conservation numbers issued Tuesday singled out Newport Beach, showing that it has only cut its water use by 5.5 percent while other cities have reduced their use by up to 30 percent.

As the State Water Resources Control Board began discussing how to enforce mandatory reductions,  Newport Beach is making plans to try to improve the city’s conservation.

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CBS2’s Michele Gile reported that turf medians in the city will disappear over the next few months, as the city expects state regulators to ban watering of grass in the center of all public roadways as soon as May as part of emergency drought restrictions.

“You can water the trees, you can water drought-tolerant plants, but you can’t water turf,” said Newport Beach Utilities GM George Murdoch.

As the turf comes out, a new drought-tolerant look will take its place. It has already cropped up in places like Superior Avenue, near Hoag Hospital, and features plants that require a fraction of the water used by grass.

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The city also plans to replace a grass field at Bonita Creek Park with artificial turf. The current grass field needs 1 million gallons of water per month from May to September, and while it is recycled water, city officials said it is a scare and precious resource that could be used elsewhere in the city.

“It’s just better to have turf than regular grass because a lot of grass uses water,” said Benji Molloy.

“Definitely it will save water because I know they are sprinkling out here,” added Ryan Molloy. “They won’t have to keep watering every day.”

A recent UCLA study showing that wealthier communities using roughly three times as much water as other cities in the Southland.

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For more information on Newport Beach’s conversation requirements and water restrictions, visit