Local Water Use Remains in Check

San Marino continues to exceed state targets for the reduction of its water use, according to numbers provided last week by California American Water, the company that services the vast majority of the community.
Facing a mandate by the state Water Resources Control Board to reduce usage by 28% from 2013 levels, Cal American’s San Marino Service Area cut its water use by 31% in July. Usage in August was showing a 30% reduction from 2013 levels as the month drew to a close. And in June, San Marino lowered its use by 30% from two years ago.
The numbers were reported to city officials late last week by Garry Hofer, director of operations for Cal American’s Southern Division.
The San Marino Service Area extends well beyond the borders of the city, encompassing parts of San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, Temple City and unincorporated Los Angeles County in Pasadena, but the water usage numbers for San Marino mirror those of the wider district, said Ron Serven, the city’s environmental services manager.
The region received unseasonably high rainfall in July when some thunderstorms swept through, which undoubtedly helped keep local irrigation in check. The city’s water consumption was also greatly curtailed when sprinklers were shut off on the median lawns of Huntington Drive and Sierra Madre Boulevard.
Enforcement has also been stringent here. To date, the city has issued 370 warnings for water waste and has assessed 21 fines to repeat offenders, according to Serven. Nearly half the incidences of violations (47%) have been reported to the city by residents, he said, while code enforcement officers have logged 43% of the cases and the San Marino Police Department 10%.
On the home page of the city’s website, ci.san-marino.ca.us, there is information about San Marino’s Stage 2 watering restrictions, as well as information on how to report water wasters, including mobile apps for iPhones and Androids.
Statewide, urban water use was reduced by 31% in July, exceeding the 25% figure set by Gov. Jerry Brown in response to the prolonged drought in the West.

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