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Mayor Garcetti Wants Us To Use 20 Percent Less Water

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Mayor Eric Garcetti is asking Los Angeles to cut back on the water we use in the midst of California's epic drought. On Tuesday, he signed an executive order urging everyone—residents, businesses and the city itself—to cut its water usage by 20 percent by 2017—or face mandatory restrictions.

"Our relationship with water must evolve," Garcetti said, according to NBC Los Angeles. "We cannot afford the water policies of the past. We must conserve, recycle and rethink how we use our water to save money and make sure that we have enough water to keep L.A. growing."

Most of the order is aimed at the city itself, according to The Daily News. City agencies can only water lawns and medians twice a week, and they're being encouraged to switch to drought-tolerant landscaping when possible. City cars will be using recirculated water to wash their cars, and public golf courses will be switching to using 85 percent recycled water by 2020. The DWP will be publishing data showing water use for city facilities.

The city already imports 80 percent of our water from other regions, which proves to be a lot more costly than using our local groundwater. Garcetti wants to see that percentage down by 50 percent by 2024. He wants L.A. to build an infrastructure that allows us to be smarter and greener about the water we have: treating groundwater, capturing and storing stormwater and recycling water.

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There aren't any new mandatory requirement for residents, but we're all being asked to conserve, too, the L.A. Times reported. We're being asked to water our lawns no more than twice a week. Garcetti would like us to take advantage of DWP incentives to get rid of our thirsty lawns, install rain-capture water systems and switch to more efficient appliances and plumbing. They also have a website with silly memes reminding you to fill up your clothes hamper before doing a load of wash and not leave the faucet running while you brush your teeth.

There's a timetable for all of this. Garcetti wants water consumption in the city to drop by ten percent on July 1, 2015, by 15 percent on January 1, 2016 and 20 percent on January 1, 2017. If we don't meet these goals, Garcetti may bring on stricter rules for the city, like not allowing Angelenos to wash their cars at home or making the twice a week lawn-watering rules mandatory.