October 9, 2008

L.B. Water Use at 10-Year Low

By John Canalis

LONG BEACH - City water use reached a 10-year low at the close of fiscal 2008 last week, city water commissioners said in a statement.

Water demand was 9.2 percent below the 10-year average and 9.4 percent below the previous fiscal year.

Long Beach customers used 6,368 acre-feet less water in fiscal 2008 than in fiscal 2007, when the city began issuing voluntary conservation protocols.

"This is an entire community coming together and engaging itself in worthy endeavor," said John Allen, president of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. "We simply must change our lifestyle so that inefficient and wasteful uses of water, particularly outdoor uses, are no longer tolerated by anyone."

The Long Beach Water Department campaigned all year long to urge customers to reduce their use as the drought dragged on supplies decreased from Northern California, due to a court ruling.

The department also raised rates.

Long Beach consumed less water in the last 12 months than it did in any comparable year during the 1987 to 1992 drought, when rationing was mandatory and the population was 15 percent smaller.

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