More than 4M LA County residents must suspend outdoor watering for 15 days: MWD

Heads up residents of Los Angeles County! 

The Metropolitan Water District on Monday announced starting Tuesday, Sept. 6, MWD customers in portions of LA County are asked to stop outdoor watering for 15 days as a critical imported water pipeline is shut down for emergency repairs. 

According to officials, the 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline, which delivers Colorado River water into Southern California, must be repaired after a leak was discovered earlier this year. 

The repair is being made Sept. 6 to 20, during which the pipeline will be shut down.

"We need to make this urgent repair to ensure this infrastructure can continue serving Southern California in the immediate term and for years to come. While we do this work, we need people who normally get water from this pipeline to eliminate their outdoor water use to stretch the limited available water supplies," Metropolitan Water System Operations Manager Brent Yamasaki said. "We don’t take this call lightly, but it is what is needed at this time."

Metropolitan’s member agencies under this urgent call include the cities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando, and Torrance, as well as Central Basin Municipal Water District, Foothill Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District and West Basin Municipal Water District. Consumers under emergency conservation since June 1 will maintain the existing watering restrictions from their local agencies. 

MWD has released the following tips for residents and businesses to prepare landscaping for no watering during the two-week period, as well as what to do indoors to reduce water usage.

Before the shutdown

General Landscaping

  • Delay new plantings until after Sept. 20.
  • Avoid fertilizing lawns and plants prior to the shutdown.
  • Weed your garden to help make more water available for your plants.
  • Set your sprinkler timer to the "OFF" position on the evening of Sept. 5.


  • Aerate your lawn and add compost two weeks prior to the shutdown.
  • Set mowers for a higher cut or avoid mowing. Longer grass helps reduce evaporation.
  • Do a normal watering of your lawn according to your agency’s watering schedule.

Shrubs/Flowers/Ground Covers

  • Water deeply and early the morning of Monday, Sept. 5, or on the last day hand watering is allowed in your community before the shutdown.
  • Add mulch around your plants three inches from the stem. Do not irrigate mulch, pull it away while watering then put back into place
  • Shade your plants where possible with a sun cloth, canopy tents or umbrellas.
  • Water succulents and other desert plants as normal. Overwatering could harm them.


  • On Monday, Sept. 5, or on the last day hand watering is allowed in your community before the shutdown, deep-water your trees and shrubs by hand watering, setting soaker hoses or watering with a regular hose on a slow trickle. Water until soil is soaked to a depth of 8-12 inches.
  • Surround the tree with mulch before watering for added moisture retention. Make sure the mulch is three inches from the trunk.

During the shutdown 


  • Eliminate all outdoor watering.
  • Remember, two weeks of no watering will not kill your lawn. Though you will see a noticeable yellowing, it will improve once your previous watering schedule resumes.
  • Do not mow your lawn. Minimize the use of your lawn for playing, parking vehicles.


  • Put a bucket in your shower to collect water as the shower warms up. Use for houseplants, sensitive outdoor plants and areas of the lawn that may show excessive stress (hot spots).
  • Take short showers (5-minute max).
  • Do not leave water running when washing dishes. Fill a small bin or bucket with water to wash your dishes in. When you’re done, use that water for trees and grass.