Press Release: Burbank Remains on Stage III of the Sustainable Water Use Ordinance
Burbank, CA (January 12, 2023) – Burbank is 100% dependent on imported water purchased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The abundance of rainwater that is seeping into the aquifer under Burbank all belongs to the City of Los Angeles. Burbank Water and Power continues its focus on conservation in order to manage our limited access to water, our liquid gold.
Just before the storms, on December 15, 2022, MWD declared a Regional Drought Emergency for all of Southern California, calling on all water agencies in the region to immediately reduce their use of imported water. The declaration asks MWD’s member agencies to implement their Stage II drought contingency plans. Burbank proactively moved to Stage II in September 2021 to comply with the governor’s challenge to reduce water use by 15 percent from 2020 levels. As the drought became worse, Burbank adopted Stage III of our Sustainable Water Use Ordinance in June 2022. Burbank has already taken the action requested in the declaration and does not need to take further action.
As part of Stage III, outdoor watering in Burbank is allowed one day per week, on Saturdays, from November to March. Outdoor watering is allowed before 9 am or after 6 pm, for up to 15 minutes per irrigation station. Attended hand watering is allowed any day, before 9 am or after 6 pm.
Outdoor irrigation on decorative or non-functional grass is not allowed at commercial, industrial, institutional properties, and common areas of homeowner associations. Properties irrigated with recycled water are exempt from this restriction.
While the recent heavy rains happening throughout the state are beneficial for the water supply and ecosystem, it will take more than one wet month to end the multi-year drought. Last year, California had record precipitation in December, but it was followed by the driest January, February, and March in our history. Burbank stores water that we purchase from MWD and we must conserve it for the increasingly unpredictable future.
Climate change is bringing never-before-seen extremes, and it’s going to take much more than a couple of heavy rains to rebuild the Sierra Nevada snowpack and return groundwater and reservoir storage to normal levels. The Colorado River system, where we get much of our water, has also been experiencing drought for the last twenty years.
“Burbank has been doing a great job conserving water in recent months, and we are grateful for every person and business who has taken steps to reduce their water use,” said Richard Wilson, Assistant General Manager for Water Systems at Burbank Water and Power. “Conserving water today helps ensure we have water available tomorrow. We must continue to work together to adapt to the uncertainties of the rapidly changing climate through conservation and investments in new infrastructure within our state and our region.”
Residents are encouraged to take advantage of recent rains by turning their irrigation off before and after rain to save water. For additional information on Burbank’s outdoor watering schedule and available water conservation rebates, visit the BWP website at BurbankWaterAndPower.com/drought