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Starting Wednesday, residents across Southern California have to limit how much they water their yards under new restrictions placed in response to the drought.

The Metropolitan Water District for the first time ever declared a water shortage emergency in April, taking the unprecedented action of limiting outdoor watering for millions of residents in dozens of cities and communities in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.

The affected communities are ones that depend on water from Northern California, through the State Water Project, and have limited or no access to water from the Colorado River or local resources.

“We cannot afford green lawns,” MWD General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said last month while announcing the new rules.

The outdoor watering restrictions affect customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Calleguas Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District.

Rules for L.A. residents

For LADWP customers in L.A., residents will only be able to water their yards two days per week starting Wednesday.

Customers with street addresses ending in odd numbers may water only on Mondays and Fridays, and customers with even numbered street addresses may water on Thursdays and Sundays.

And all outdoor watering is prohibited from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Watering with sprinklers is limited to one cycle of up to 8 minutes per watering day for typical, non-conserving residential nozzle sprinkler systems, or two 15-minute cycles per watering day for conserving nozzle sprinkler systems.

However, hand watering with a self-closing shut-off nozzle on the hose is allowed any day of the week before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

City officials also require that all leaks are repaired in a timely manner and there is no runoff onto streets, driveways and gutters.

Residents also shouldn’t be watering sidewalks, walkways, driveways or parking areas, LADWP officials said.

LADWP said it will be patrolling the streets of Los Angeles to “educate Angelenos on the days of the week watering restrictions and to enforce the ordinance.”

More details on LADWP’s watering restrictions can be found here.

What happens if you don’t follow the rules?

LADWP says that for a first offense, customers are given a “warning in the form of water conservation tips and printed educational material to raise customer awareness.”

But subsequent violations may result in fines that range from $200 to $1,200, according to LADWP.

Officials said no one would get monetary citations without a prior warning.

Which areas in SoCal are affected by watering restrictions?

(Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)
(Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)

All or part of the below cities and communities are dependent on water from the State Water Project and will be affected by the Metropolitan Water District’s outdoor watering restrictions:

• Agoura Hills
• Arcadia
• Avocado Heights
• Azusa
• Baldwin Park
• Bassett
• Bradbury
• Calabasas
• Camarillo
• Canoga Park
• Chatsworth
• Chino
• Chino Hills
• City of Industry
• Claremont
• Covina
• Culver City
• Duarte
• El Monte
• Encino
• Fontana
• Granada Hills
• Hacienda Heights
• Irwindale
• La Puente
• La Verne
• Los Angeles
• Mission Hills
• Monrovia
• Montclair
• Moorpark
• Newbury Park
• North Hills
• North Hollywood
• North Whittier
• Northridge
• Oak Park
• Ontario
• Oxnard
• Pacific Palisades
• Pacoima
• Panorama City
• Playa del Rey
• Playa Vista
• Point Mugu NAWC
• Port Hueneme
• Port Hueneme CBC Base
• Porter Ranch
• Rancho Cucamonga
• Reseda
• Rialto
• Rosemead
• San Gabriel
• Sherman Oaks
• Simi Valley
• Somis
• South El Monte
• South Pasadena
• Spy Glass Hill
• Studio City
• Sun Valley
• Sunland
• Sylmar
• Tarzana
• Temple City
• Thousand Oaks
• Tujunga
• Universal City
• Upland
• Valinda
• Valley Village
• Van Nuys
• Venice
• West Covina
• West Hills
• West Hollywood
• Westlake Village
• Whittier
• Winnetka
• Woodland Hills

Different water suppliers will have different watering schedules and limits for customers.

For example, in Glendale, residents have already been restricted to watering their lawns just twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, for no more than 10 minutes. The limits have been in place since February.