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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Melissa Hernandez

LA-area city of Burbank to ban outdoor watering in September; other cities may follow

LOS ANGELES — Outdoor watering will be banned next month in Burbank.

The city sent notices to residents Tuesday announcing the upcoming restrictions on sprinklers and automated irrigation because of emergency repairs to the upper feeder pipeline that supplies water to the region from the Colorado River Aqueduct. The ban is expected to be in effect Sept. 6-20.

"Burbank is 100% dependent on imported water from the State Water Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct. Drought conditions have severely impacted the supply of water available through the State Water Project," city officials said on the city's website. "This year, Burbank has been depending on receiving water exclusively from the Colorado River. However, this major repair will not allow water to flow to our area."

Earlier this year, more than 6 million Southern Californians were placed under new drought rules in an unprecedented effort to conserve water.

The restrictions were a response to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's urgent call for a 35% reduction in water use following California's driest-ever start to the year. MWD's board has never before issued such severe cuts, but said they were left with little recourse after state officials slashed deliveries from the State Water Project to just 5%.

Burbank, like most of Southern California, relies on two sources of water: the State Water Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct. But with cuts to the State Water Project, the city has been relying mainly on water from the Colorado River, which is also facing extreme drought conditions.

"There are many communities that can only get water from the State Water Project," Jeannine Edwards, Burbank Water and Power's assistant general manager of sustainability, marketing and strategy, said in a statement. "During this time, we are exclusively dependent on this source, and we all have to do our part to help sustain water supplies. We are fortunate that this is just a two-week issue, and we will be able to return to (outdoor) watering after the upper feeder is repaired."

Rebecca Kimitch, an MWD spokesperson, said the pipe carrying water from the Colorado River to the metropolitan water treatment facility has been leaking for some time, but a temporary repair was put in place when the leak was discovered. Water flows have been reduced, but the agency urged that the pipe be fixed by September.

Kimitch said restrictions for other communities in greater Los Angeles are underway, but the district could not confirm which other cities might be affected.

A spokesperson for the city of Burbank could not be immediately reached for comment, but city officials urged residents to take the following actions to prepare for the outdoor watering ban:

—Put a reminder on your calendar to turn off your sprinklers and automated irrigation systems Sept. 6-20.

—Add mulch around shrubs, flower beds and trees to help reduce water evaporation. The city offers free mulch to Burbank residents.

—Fill up rain barrels and cisterns to store water for later watering. Rebates are available from SoCal WaterSmart at $35 per barrel and $250 per cistern. Visit for more details.

—Collect water while you shower or from your kitchen sink in a bucket and use it to water trees and other shrubs while outdoor irrigation is temporarily suspended.


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