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Pasadena Will Face Water Shortage Emergency This Month

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Residents of Pasadena will face a strict watering ban as part of an anticipated Level 4 Water Shortage Emergency this month while a major regional water pipeline is temporarily shut down. Between March 18th and 27th, Pasadena will be relying solely on their groundwater and reserves while the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) implements a planned seismic retrofit of the F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in LaVerne.

As a result of the MWD's work, water supply to Pasadena and neighboring cities will be cut off completely during that time. Yesterday, the Pasadena City Council agreed to implementing a ban, that, with some exceptions, means residents cannot water their lawns. Before the shut-off, Pasadena will lift the existing restrictions to allow people to water any day.

The City of Pasadena detailed their water supply strategy in a release issued yesterday:

Just before the pipeline shutdown, [Pasadena Water and Power (PWP)] will fill the city’s 14 reservoirs with about 80 million gallons of local groundwater and water imported from MWD. As these reserves fall during the 10-day shutdown, PWP will replenish reservoirs with up to seven million gallons of groundwater per day pumped from wells throughout Pasadena. All told, Pasadena can count on 150 million gallons during the shutdown, whereas about 250 million gallons would be consumed under normal circumstances.
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Officials say that experts agree "most established plants and lawns can hold up well without water for 10 days and even longer."

“Even though this short-term supply cut is severe, we are confident Pasadenans will come together on this issue and follow the plan so we all will have enough water for drinking and everyday indoor uses,” said Eric Klinkner, chief deputy general manager of PWP.