BWP Needs to Take Water Waste Seriously

First published in the Sept. 10 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

[Tuesday was] the first day of a two-week moratorium on outdoor watering that is necessary in order to complete pipeline repairs for the Metropolitan Water District.
As of [Tuesday] morning, however, many residents are continuing to use their sprinklers as usual. That is based upon what I saw during my usual daily walk.
Despite unprecedented drought and water shortage over several years, the response of Burbank Water and Power continues to be inept and pathetic. Water wasters are determined to maintain their little green oasis while most of us let our yards wither and die. Some residents are even installing new landscaping and more sprinklers. Whether because of BWP’s fear of public opposition or granting preferential treatment, some households are able to waste huge quantities of precious water with no repercussions.
BWP has adjusted its watering restrictions over the past several years. They set the watering rules but refuse to aggressively enforce them. That is contributing to the inequities that exist in neighborhoods now. The water wasters will continue to do as they please because BWP won’t enforce its own rules.
BWP’s Conservation Unit encourages residents to report water wasters online, but nothing happens after they are reported.
BWP needs to take water waste seriously and think creatively, particularly regarding all of the water that ends up in the drains due to faulty sprinklers and vegetation grown in parkways. BWP will have a lot of public support for its efforts if it shows that water wasters will not be tolerated and water use becomes equitable for all residents.

Thomas Saito
Burbak