Deadline to Eliminate Outdoor  Watering Approaches

Starting September 6th, residents and businesses in portions of greater Los Angeles County are being called on to suspend outdoor watering for 15 days as a critical imported water pipeline is shut down for emergency repairs. The Metropolitan Water District is joined by its member agencies and local retail water agencies in the water-saving call  to stretch Southern California’s severely limited water supplies as Metropolitan repairs this pipeline.

The 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline is an important part of Metropolitan’s regional water system, delivering Colorado River water into Southern California. After a leak was discovered in the pipeline earlier this year, Metropolitan made a temporary repair and began operating the pipeline at a reduced capacity while a more permanent solution was designed and developed. The repair is being made Sept. 6th-20th, during which the pipeline will be shut down.

no watering graphic

Provided below are a few tips on how residents and businesses can prepare their landscaping to ensure it will thrive again once the shutdown is complete.

  • Delay new plantings until after Sept. 20th.
  • 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. 5th.
  • Aerate your lawn & 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. 5th, 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. 


  • On Monday, Sept. 5th, 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.


  • Eliminate all outdoor watering.
  • 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-min 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.

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