June 25, 2015 / 10:37 PM / 5 years ago

Los Angeles transportation agency to cut water use by 20 percent

A tire rests on the dry bed of Lake Mendocino, a key Mendocino County reservoir, in Ukiah, California February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Noah Berger

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles County transportation agency, facing a catastrophic drought that has led the state to issue its first ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use, has decided to reduce its water consumption by 20 percent by 2017.

The motion, which passed the Metropolitan Transportation Agency Board of Directors by a unanimous vote on Thursday, would limit landscape irrigation to two days a week and would remove or limit ornamental turf at MTA facilities.

The measures also require a public database be put in place by October 2015 to disclose water use at all MTA facilities, partly by installing water meters.

“The areas include both bus and rail divisions, landscape irrigation, toilets and wash basins and mobile cleaning vehicles,” said Rick Jager, communications manager for the MTA.

“All require the need for metering devices, not only to reduce water use but also for capturing run-off after cleaning and recycling the liquid captured,” he added.

The Los Angeles metro is seeking to save water as a four-year drought has compelled the state government and authorities to implement restrictions on water-usage.

California Governor Jerry Brown recently ordered cities and towns to reduce their water use by 25 percent in a system of regulation in which some communities must cut back by 36 percent and others as little as 4 percent.

Earlier this month, the state’s water board also decided for the first time in 40 years to limit longtime water rights for agriculture and other uses in Northern and Central California. A San Joaquin Valley water utility, the Banta-Carbona Irrigation District, sued the state water board on Friday over this measure.

Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Lambert

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