Environment & Science

Pasadena declares water shortage: What are the restrictions now?

File photo: A sprinkler sprays water on a lawn at Golden Gate Park on January 29, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
File photo: A sprinkler sprays water on a lawn at Golden Gate Park on January 29, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Poll: What do you think of the new restrictions?

The Pasadena City Council declared a water shortage on Monday night, unanimously approving new restrictions aimed at reducing water use by 20 percent compared to 2013 levels.

The council determined that the city has entered "Water Shortage Level 1," activating a plan that limits the number of days residents can water their lawns to three and reduces the amount of time allowed to fix leaks to 72 hours. Normally residents have up to seven days after being notified by Pasadena Water and Power to repair any leaks.

Residents who fail to comply with the new restrictions face incremental fines up to $500; businesses can be fined up to $1,000.

The water cops won't be out in force right away, though. Phyllis E. Currie, PWP's general manager, said the decision Monday needed to be made without delay, but that notices will be sent out to give residents a chance to adjust before the rules are fully enforced. And a first notice will only result in a written warning.

Even with the new restrictions in place, it could be difficult for the city to attain its goal of reducing water use by 20 percent, said Eric Klinkner, PWP's assistant general manager.

"The 2013 consumption was already in the neighborhood of 12 percent less than our peak, and close to less than 10 percent of our baseline, so really that would be something like 30 percent below baseline levels. And we're in a dry year where demands are higher," Klinkner said.

In addition to the new restrictions, the city of Pasadena has permanent water use restrictions:

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