City Council to Discuss Water Conservation Wednesday

South Pas failed in 12 of the 19 categories of the Sierra Club's 2010 water conservation survey.

In wake of South Pas receiving a poor rating in the Sierra Club's 2010 water efficiency study, City Council members are slated to discuss possible amendments to the Municipal Code Wednesday. 

"We are in the process of working to bring recommendations to amend the City's
municipal code via an ordinance that will specifically address compliance with recently passed assembly bills and issues raised by the Sierra Club," said Interim City Manager Sergio Gonzalez.

South Pasadena ranked 111 out of 122 incorporated cities in Sierra Club Angeles Chapter's study and failed in 12 of 19 water conservation measures evaluated. Overall, the City scored poor out of four categories: Best, good, poor and worst. 

As a result, City Council will consider the following recommendations Wednesday:

  • Consider initiating amendments to the Municipal Code and the Mission Street Specific Plan to require that commercial and residential developments and certain landscaping only projects provide water-conserving landscaping.
  • Provide direction on the scope of this amendment.
  • Adopt a Resolution of Intent to initiate a Municipal Code amendment.

Fixing the Problem 

South Pas has already taken some steps towards water efficiency. by City Council Dec. 2010 with residents experiencing a 30 percent increase in March 2011.

The City is also slated to hire a conservation coordinator with a portion of that earmarked money.

Yet despite these efforts, South Pasadena still has room to improve in the following areas, according to Sierra Club’s survey:

  • Residential Water Efficiency Measures and Commercial Water Efficiency Measures: evaluates city regulations such as toilets being rated at 1.28 gallons per flush. 
  • Efficient Commercial & Industrial Processes: evaluates water efficient equipment for food processing, laundry, car wash, and water-cooling system.
  • Efficient Municipal Best Practices: evaluates city best practices for water reuse, recycled water, reclaimed water and general use of non-potable water where available.  

Sierra Club did not rate South Pas in Efficient Landscape Irrigation because the City is not yet in compliance with state law

Read more here on how Fair Oaks landscape designs were revised to fall in line with AB 1881.

"A code change would have needed an act of Council and that never happened, putting us two years out of compliance," said NREC and Water Council member Drew Ready.

“... We have a long way to go but there is no reason a city as smart as ours can't reduce water waste, improve our conservation score and become a model for water efficiency for our region,” he continued.

See Sierra Club's South Pas scorecard and details of the study attached.

Elliot Kwock December 21, 2011 at 06:57 PM
And why are giving any thought to a NGO rating of this city? These people will not be happy until our lawns are brown.
spidra December 21, 2011 at 07:32 PM
Because, Elliot, we live in a semi-arid region of a state with perennial water problems. Because we get our water from local well sources so if we don't use our water wisely, the water table could recede and a lot more than just decorative lawns could die.
Elliot Kwock December 21, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Then please don't complain about my dead brown lawn. Thanks
Ron Rosen December 21, 2011 at 08:09 PM
I never water anything in my yard and I almost never wash my car. I should be up for an Image Award!
Sam Burgess December 21, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Elliot, I do not complain about dead brown lawns. I do, however, question why someone has a lawn in the first place. Spidra is correct, we live in a semi-arid region with a limited local water supply. The day is rapidly approaching when our supply from both northern California and the Colorado River will be diminished. It is a positive for me when I see our city address the issue of water conservation in a public, pro-active manner. This has not always been the case.
spidra December 21, 2011 at 09:23 PM
While walking and biking around town, I see a lot of residences and apartment complexes with old sprinkler systems that send 80% of their water onto the concrete and straight down the drain. When I was in the Alameda County Master Gardener program, we had a great guest speaker from East Bay Municipal Utility District who had visual examples of efficient and inefficient irrigation set ups and spoke knowledgeably about the subject. A lot of homeowners and landlords don't know how much money they could save if they weren't doing the equivalent of turning their garden hose on with the end pointed straight down the sewer. It might be worthwhile for the city to engage an irrigation expert to give a presentation on the subject in the SPPL Community Room.


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