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Councilman Greig Smith, Water Rebel


First it was Mayor Villaraigosa's nocturnal irrigation of Getty House, then it was DWP chief David Nahai's over-watering of his home's grounds. However, while these two officials claimedignorance of breaking the city's strict water-conservation rules, Valley councilman Greig Smith is deliberately defying those rules. Specifically, reports the L.A. Daily News' Rick Orlov, Smith has announced to the world that he waters his lawn three times weekly, instead of the permitted two times.

Don't get him wrong: Smith is no drought-denier. He claims, instead, that his grass stays greener by watering it for eight minutes on each of three unspecified days. The city allows Monday and Thursday waterings of 15 minutes each, either before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m. In other words, Smith says his lawn is greener through 24 minutes of watering instead of the permitted 30.

Orlov says that the DWP, having declared a no-special-favors policy toward Smith, is studying ways to respond to his rebellion. Meanwhile, DWP is trying to figure out the cause of some recent spectacular water main breaks. Orlov quotes USC's civil and environmental engineering department chairman as blaming the city's water conservation program, speculating that the increased pressure put on the system on watering days may be causing the system to crack.




"DWP officials," according the News story, "discounted that theory . .

. saying they did not observe enough of an increase in water pressure

on Mondays and Thursdays."