The Water Cooler

Central Basin Municipal Water District's Water Blog

July is Smart Irrigation Month

It’s no secret that during hot summer days, water demand rises.  To raise awareness on the importance of efficient water use outdoors, the National Irrigation Association promotes July as Smart Irrigation Month. 

Launched in 2005, the campaign promotes smart irrigation devices and practices.  Communities are encouraged to use products that support outdoor water efficiency such as, rotating nozzles, weather based irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensor systems.

Here’s a closer look at the devices practicality and effectiveness:

  • Rotating nozzles use 20% less water than standard sprinkler heads and fit most standard pop up spray head bodies. Rotating nozzles use less water pressure and can distribute water as effectively as a standard nozzle.
  • Weather based irrigation controllers (WBIC) can help homeowners save 40 gallons of water per day; WBICs use climate data to adjust watering schedules.
  • Soil moisture sensor systems can reduce water use by 62%.  These systems determine the level of moisture and its watering need.

In addition to installing water efficient devices, residents and businesses can also practice water friendly irrigation methods.

  • Water in the early morning or afternoon to avoid evaporation
  • Inspect sprinkler devices to avoid leaks
  • Strategically place sprinklers in an area that does not cause run-off

Although July is specifically designated as Smart Irrigation Month, we should celebrate a Smart Irrigation Year. For more conservation tips and information on devices and rebates, visit our Conservation page!

State Water Board Enacts Fines for Excessive Outdoor Water Use

Keep a close eye on your outdoor watering habits, it can now cost you up to $500 per day.  The State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency regulations that allow officials to fine residents for using excessive water outdoors.

The unprecedented action taken on Tuesday, comes after study results indicate that water use has increased by 1%.  Early January, Governor Brown asked for a voluntary water reduction of 20% and despite this call, water use has increased.

Under the new regulations, Californians are prohibited from:

  • Using drinking water to hose down sidewalks and driveways;
  • Watering lawns/gardens that causes runoff;
  • Washing cars without shut-off nozzles, and
  • Using drinking water in fountains or decorative pieces

Regulations can go into effect as early as August 1, if approved by the Office of Administrative Law, and will remain in effect for 270 days. Those who fail to meet the regulations will receive an infraction similar to a traffic violation. Water officials will also be required to provide the State Control Board with monthly updates on the implementation and effect of the regulations. Further, all water agencies are being asked to educate community members on the regulations.

Central Basin has consistently promoted a water-friendly lifestyle by providing conservation tips and programs. For example, residents and business owners can avoid paying $500 fines by implementing water efficient practices, such as using a broom or water-broom to clean sidewalks and driveways; replacing your grass with drought tolerant plants; and using a car wash facility that uses recycled water.  For more water savings, community members are also encourage to take advantage of Central Basin’s rebate programs.  To stay connected to our website for more updates on the regulations and water saving tips.

Water Bond Discussions on Hold

Earlier this week, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced that further discussions on proposing a 2014 water bond have been placed on hold before lawmakers go on the summer recess.  Several proposals are currently being considered to replace the existing $11.14 billion bond scheduled to be placed on the November 2014 ballot for voters to consider.

A new water Bond that is being shaped proposes funding for several categories that include groundwater protection, water quality, water recycling, conservation, safe drinking water and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating Student Artists

DSC_0978The 2014 Water Is Life Traveling Art Show was recently on display at the District’s headquarters. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agencies, the Water Is Life poster contest promotes student artistic talents. The program is offered for students to express a variety of ways that everyone can save water, here’s a brief slide show of some of the winning artwork.  Celebrating student artists, parents and educators, these winners are featured in Metropolitan’s 2014 Water Is Life 2014 calendar. Click here, if you would like to receive a 2014 calendar!

Revitalizing the Los Angeles River

photo: courtesy of

Several developments have occurred along the Los Angeles River throughout the years. In the early 1900’s, the river was developed to manage flood control.  Now local efforts are paving the way for increased recreational activities that include kayaking, fishing and bicycling.  An informative timeline of the Los Angeles River compiled by regional agencies and groups dates all the way back to 48,000 + years ago.  Historic pictures of the Los Angeles River provides us a glimpse of how the landscape of this region has changed throughout the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Boosted Incentives for Recycled Water

Beginning July 1, 2014, new opportunities will be available to convert water usage to recycled water. As part of the Metropolitan Water District’s Local Resources Program, an On-site Retrofit Pilot Program will be available to offer financial assistance for construction costs, permitting and more.

The use of recycled water continues to be a reliable source for irrigating landscapes and is becoming increasingly popular across the state. Businesses throughout the region are encouraged to participate in the program for incentives of up to $195 per acre-foot for five years of estimated water use.

For more information, a program fact sheet is available along with a list of frequently asked questions.  For more information on the many benefits of using recycled water, click here.

Water Inspection Trips

InspectionThank you to everyone who attended the water aqueduct inspection trips this year!  We are at the end of the season and will be kicking off the trips again in the fall.

As a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District, Central Basin Municipal Water District appoints two representatives to serve on the governing seats of the 37-member Metropolitan Board.  By attending these inspection trips along the Colorado River Aqueduct, the State Water Project Aqueduct and the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir, community members can learn more about the water delivery system for Southern California, the history of these developments and how water agencies are managing supplies for our semi-arid region. Read the rest of this entry »

Local College Offers Environmental Education Courses

college chemistRio Hondo College, located in Whittier, offers a comprehensive Environmental Science Program.  Since 2007, the program has offered opportunities for students to pursue environmental careers in a variety of specialties.  Students can graduate with the tools needed to either transfer to bachelor’s degree program or be prepared with qualifications to enter the workforce at the technical level. What’s more is that interns are placed with public and private agencies each semester.  There are many different types of jobs in the water industry that include sectors in finance, communications, scientists, water quality, engineering and operations.   To discover more information on this exciting opportunity at Rio Hondo College, click here.

Fire Resistant Plants

fire resistant plant lavenderPreparing a safe plan in the event of a wildfire is important for Californian’s. The County of Los Angeles has many tools and resources available that can help us respond safely to fires that may occur close to our homes.  One in particular is a “Ready! Set! Go!” personal action plan booklet.  With a simple list of items from preparation to response, this is a valuable tool to have on hand.  Making sure to have a Defensible Space between your home and outdoor landscapes can allow room for firefighters to operate safely.  Selecting fire resistant plants for outdoor landscapes can provide benefits to landscapes.  Fire-resistant plants can retain moisture in dry areas. Listed below are a few resources that include a list of fire resistant plants:

Also, featured from the California Native Plant Society, is information on living near wildfire environments and what we can do to protect our homes.  Advance planning and maintenance of outdoor landscapes can help you and your neighbors in the event a wildfire may come close.

Congressional Student Art Competition Scores Big

This year marks the 21st Annual Lucille Roybal-Allard Student Art Competition. Within the 40th Congressional District, a total of 131 art pieces were submitted from high school students located throughout southeast Los Angeles County.  The top five finalists were students from Downey, Paramount, Bell Gardens and Bell High Schools.  Click here to view the 21st Annual Student Art Competition winning entries.

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. If you happen to be nearby the Citadel Outlets, stop by the 500 Building at the Citadel where all of the art entries will be on display for one month.