Water Conservation Discussed at CV Town Council Meeting

Outside the offices of the Crescenta Valley Water District on Foothill Boulevard, the water alert sign will be changing from yellow to orange on June 1.
Photo by Rachelle MILLER


James Lee, the Crescenta Valley Water District director of Finance and Administration, spoke about the importance of water conservation at the CV Town Council on Thursday, May 19.

“The historic drought persists and in response the Foothill water agencies will all move in lockstep from the yellow to orange [stage],” Lee said.

At present CVWD is in a water conservation level of yellow, which is classified as “extraordinary water conservation” by the water agency. It means the Metropolitan Water District is withdrawing water from most of its storage programs to meet demands.

As of June 1, the area will transition to the orange stage, which means water supplies are limited. For water customers, this means residential and commercial landscape irrigation is limited to no more than two days per week on Tuesdays and Saturdays (the same days as Glendale Water & Power customers). Public areas owned and operated by school districts or public use area greater than 4,000 square feet are exempt.

In addition, in the orange stage the filling, refilling and adding water to indoor and outdoor pools, wading pools or spas is prohibited. There are exemptions, however, including the addition of adding water to prevent equipment failure. CVWD, though, “strongly urges that a [pool/spa] cover be used to prevent evaporation and thereby reducing frequency of refilling.”

The use of water to clean, maintain, fill or refill decorative fountains or similar structures is prohibited. Washing vehicles is restricted to using hand-held buckets with quick rinses using a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle, according to CVWD.

During this stage residents are required to fix water leaks within 48 hours.

According to Christy Colby of CVWD, construction on Los Olivos Lane between Pennsylvania Avenue and La Crescenta Avenue is underway and progress has been slower than expected due to material shortages amid the ongoing supply chain disruptions. Current work includes water service line installations. This will be followed in mid-June by “tie-ins” (connecting the new water main to the existing water main at multiple locations). During the tie-in phase, there will be short periods when water must be shut off (shut off details to follow in a later update). Affected residents will be notified prior to a water shutoff. Temporary traffic control, traffic delays and minor delays are expected to continue during working hours.

She added that this week marks two and a half months into construction on the Los Olivos Lane project which is approximately 65% complete. To date the contractor has installed 3,300 linear feet of eight-inch steel cement lined and coated pipe, 45 water services and eight fire hydrants. The construction crew is currently working on the 3000 block of Los Olivos Lane. The project is on schedule for completion in July 2022. Lastly, trenches will be temporarily paved or plated and roadways fully reopened to traffic at the end of each workday and on weekends.

Colby added that the project in the 3000 block of Alabama is on hold due to labor shortages on the contractor’s side. 

“We hope to kick it off by July,” she said. 

 Lee said at the meeting that CVWD crews are working on valve replacement on Briggs Avenue.

This is the state’s third year of drought and although the state has conducted educational conservation campaigns many residents and businesses in California have not taken conservation seriously, according to state data.

During the summer last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a drought emergency asking residents to cut their water usage by 15%; this did not happen. In fact, water usage rose by 19% from March 2020, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

On Monday, Gov. Newsom convened leaders from California’s largest urban water suppliers and water associations imploring them to take more aggressive actions to combat drought and better engage their customers to ensure all Californians are doing their part to save water, according to a statement.

“Every water agency across the state needs to take more aggressive actions to communicate about the drought emergency and implement conservation measures,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “Californians made significant changes since the last drought but we have seen an uptick in water use, especially as we enter the summer months. We all have to be more thoughtful about how to make every drop count.”

At the beginning of this year the Glendale City Council approved the move of Glendale Water & Power to Phase III in its Water Conservation Ordinance.

“Glendale and many cities in the state that rely on water from the State Water Project are moving towards increasing their mandatory water conservation phases due to a lack of expected runoff amid the summer months,” according to GWP.

Most of customers’ water usage is on outside landscaping. The easiest way to conserve is to curtail outdoor watering as much as possible, according to GWP.

For Glendale customers who do not comply with Phase III of the Water Conservation Ordinance they will receive a violation warning notice. Repeat violations can result in a fine of up to $1,000.

GWP customers can anonymously report water waste by calling GWP’s water waster hotline at (818) 550-4426 or submitting an online form at www.GlendaleCA.gov/ReportWaterWaste.

The City of Burbank is currently in Stage II of the Sustainable Water Use Ordinance. Stage II limits outdoor watering to three days a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – from April to October. In the cooler months from November to March, outdoor watering is allowed only on Saturdays, according to the Burbank Water & Power.

Outdoor watering is allowed before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m., up to 15 minutes per irrigation station. In addition, attended hand watering is allowed any day and any time.

Customers of Crescenta Valley Water District and GWP have historically responded positively when asked to conserve. The average use of residential gallons per capita per day (R-GPCD) from February 2021 to March 2022 for CVWD customers was an average of 93.72; Glendale customers used 78.32; Pasadena 100.65; Burbank 103.20; Rubio 166.37; Lincoln 101.79; and Valley 270.30.