LOS ANGELES – With snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada at 50% of normal and drought conditions continuing throughout California, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urges customers to shut off sprinklers over the next several days during periods of rain.

Under the city’s Water Conservation Ordinance, it is illegal to water outdoors when it’s raining. Violators are subject to citation and fines under the municipal code. Enforcement is handled by the department’s 15-member Water Conservation Team who patrol the city investigating water waste and issuing citations.

“Our water supplies have been cut and our snow pack in the Eastern Sierra is precariously low,” said David Nahai, CEO and general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “We are now in a situation where all of Los Angeles must be in a water conservation mode 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. Let the storm water soak your yards while saving our precious fresh water for drinking, showering and other necessities of life.”

Customers should shut off irrigation systems for a week or more following rain without affecting the health of grass, plants and other foliage. LADWP conservation experts estimate the average residential customer would save about 800 gallons by not watering outdoors for a week, which also results in savings on water bills. Additionally, customers can take advantage of the Department’s rebate program by installing weather-based “smart irrigation” controls that automatically gauge whether watering is necessary. The rebate is available to all LADWP customers. For more information, call 1-888-376-3314 or log on to www.bewaterwise.com.

To date, the Water Conservation Team has issued 1,100 citations to water wasters. The first violation is a warning. Subsequent violations are subject to fines ranging from $100 to $600 depending upon the number of citations issued and severity of the waste.

The LADWP encourages customers to report water waste by calling 1-800-DIAL DWP (1-800-342-5397) 24 hours a day or or sending an e-mail to the water conservation team at waterconservationteam@ladwp.com