Repercussions of drought have trickle down effect on local, county government


Recent reports detailing the effects of the drought on local economies are forcing county and city governments to take action.

Culver City will be implementing several different strategies, said Public Works Director Charles Herbertson, including pursing grants to fund for the design and installation of a demonstration rain garden on City Hall property.

Herbertson met on July 22 with City Manager John Nachbar, Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Services Daniel Hernandez and parks manager to discuss water conservation, the day that the county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe to adopt the state Water Resources Control Board emergency regulations for water conservation.

“The city will be updating its website with the most current information including a section discussing the number of actions that the city has already taken to help conserve water and helpful links with other information and resources,” Herbertson said.

City Hall officials plan to add a “water waste” category to the Culver City’s “Go Request” app for reporting incidents of water being misused and violations of the local water conservation ordinance. They plan to also produce a door hangar that can be used to educate residents and businesses that are seen or reported to be violating the water ordinance.

“Future actions include considering adding a water conservation plan to a future [fiscal year] work plan and keeping track of trends of water usage at city facilities,” Herbertson added.

The motion by Knabe, who represents nearby Marina del Rey, calls for the implementation of the state’s water regulations by Aug. 1. The state board passed a resolution calling for emergency conservation regulations, which include prohibiting washing down driveways and sidewalks, using a hose to wash a car unless it is fitted with a shut-off nozzle and using potable water in a fountain, unless the water is re-circulated, limiting outdoor watering to two days a week is another of the emergency precautions.

“Eighty percent of California is suffering from extreme drought conditions with no relief in sight,” Knabe said. “As the largest employer in Los Angeles County, we maintain and operate over 5,000 buildings and facilities.  We need to ensure [that] our house is in order and not only do our part in our unincorporated areas, but also set an example for the 88 cities in the county.”

Culver City’s council is empowered to take stricter action on water conservation if it chooses to do so. One action could be to move to a Level 1 status of its water ordinance that would limit watering limited to three days/week or one day/week from November to March and require that all leaks to be repaired within 72 hours.

“We do have a fairly stringent water conservation policy on the books,” Councilman Jim Clarke said. “We may have to put more effort into mandatory compliance.”