L.A.'s Lush Lawns Are in the Crosshairs as Officials Tackle Drought

Yesterday we said your lawn will likely turn brown following Gov. Jerry Brown's historic executive order mandating a 25 percent water-use reduction among Californians.

We weren't kidding. 

The L.A. Department of Water and Power will have the unenviable task of ensuring that Angelenos do their part to help fill the governor's order during this historic drought. City law today mandates that residents water their lawns no more than three days a week.

In October, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asked residents to make that more like two days a week — voluntarily.

But LADWP is somewhat quietly putting two days back on the table as a possible mandatory measure, city water operations director Marty Adams told us.

The proposal will be part of an ordinance that LADWP will submit to the City Council for its approval later this month, he said.

The language would not immediately impose a two-day limitation (which we had temporarily in 2009), but it would give the city the authority to pull the trigger on a two-day mandate if officials believe it's necessary, Adams said.

"We were basically asked to revise the ordinance to give the city more gradation to enact if needed," he said. "It gives us the option."

Experts say, and Adams agrees, that outdoors is where we're going to find our water savings from here on out. Angelenos have been good at installing low-flow fixtures and sink aerators, and that subsidized initiative has been "saturated," he said.

Half of Angelenos' water use is outdoors. The city will pay you $3.75 a square foot to rip out your lawn and install "California-friendly" landscaping, Adams said.

"There's a lot of water that can be conserved" there, Adams said. Lawns and outdoor irrigation represent "the low-hanging fruit."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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