This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
What a 'Water Conservation Ordinance' Citation Looks Like & How it Works
Download a high res version of this citation here (.pdf) | Courtesy of LADWP
Here's what a citation from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power looks like. Luckily, if its your first time, there's no monetary punishment, just a conversation with a conservation team member, which could be its own sort of punishment depending on who you are. If they visit you again, you're looking at $100 or more.
But what happens when joe citizen reports their neighbor? We noticed someone's sprinklers on yesterday so we gave it a try. This particular case presented two problems. One; it was a Sunday and water sprinklers are verboten except for Mondays and Thursdays and two; the sprinkler was concentrating on the sidewalk (very bad, very annoying).
We called 3-1-1, who connected us to DWP, who took the information down. The operator told us the homeowner would get a citation, but an official with DWP told us that was incorrect of her to say.
What will actually happen is that a water conservation team member will take the tip and do a field visit as they are the only people authorized to cite, which can come only after the team member witnesses a violation so timing and luck is of the essence here. Upon their first visit, they will try to make contact with the homeowner to educate them and if no one is home, they will leave printed materials behind explaining why water conservation is needed.
Will this work? We think the one-on-one relationship building can be a good thing with successful results if the team member is nice person. But if there are too many violations being reported around the city, staffing may not be adequate and results negligible. It's been a touchy subject for some in past comment sections, what do you think?