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Special "Earth Month" Edition

The Current Flow Newsletter Issue 2, 2017

News for customers of
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

PDF version

What's In This Issue:

Stay current on water issues, tours and conservation.  Facebook Twitter YouTube

Is the Drought Over?

Winter rain and overflowing reservoirs have eased supply concerns after five years of drought. However, some parts of the state are still in a deficit and Mother Nature decides when the time is right to bring water to those areas.

Yes, California’s immediate supply fears have been alleviated, but there are several good reasons to continue your water-efficient practices:20% by 2020

  • Drought or no drought, water agencies are required to comply with California’s "20 Percent by 2020" mandate adopted in 2008. Pay attention to your water budget to meet that goal.
  • Staying efficient saves more than just water. Using less water reduces District costs for power, treatment chemicals and facilities.
  • Many customers have enjoyed savings by installing water-wise landscapes that have become the "new normal." These "California Friendly" landscape choices make a big difference.
  • Wasting water only makes the next drought arrive sooner.
  • Making water conservation a California way of life means not watering in the 48 hours following rain, not washing down hardscapes, using a hose trigger nozzle when washing cars and avoiding irrigation runoff.

Stay Within Your Water Budget

Your water budget changes every month; outdoor allocations begin to increase in the spring. By watering wisely, you’ll save water and avoid costly penalties. 

 What's In This Issue

Will Lake Oroville's Problems Affect Our Supply?

All LVMWD’s drinking water is imported, and the main supply of that water begins its journey at Lake Oroville in Northern California. While the full extent of the spillway damage is not yet known, water will continue to flow through the Oroville Dam facility, as it is on an active watershed. Under normal operating conditions, water is released through the powerhouse, which will continue to operate while plans to repair the spillways are prepared and built. Oroville’s spillways are only used when it’s necessary to release water after the spring snow melt at the end of the rainy season.

Photo Credit: Dale Kolke / CA DWR

Photo credit: Dale Kolke / California Department of Water Resources

 What's In This Issue

Don't Let Invasive Species In!

Invasives are plant and animal species that evolved in one region and are introduced, usually by humans, to another location. They spread quickly and can displace native species by eating them and/or their food source. Invasives can also damage the environment and even threaten human health. The Las Virgenes-Triunfo Joint Powers Authority (JPA) supports efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of invasives. photo courtesy of Pepperdine University

Much of the LVMWD service area lies within the sensitive Malibu Creek Watershed. Over the last 100 years, native aquatic life, including steelhead trout and red-legged frog, has been impacted by invasives, such as crayfish (pictured right) and New Zealand mud snails. Crayfish are fiercely aggressive, eating everything from small fish to frog eggs and aquatic bugs; and while the New Zealand Mud Snail eats troublesome algae, it also produces ideal conditions for new algal blooms. Algae deprive oxygen from aquatic life and produce harmful toxins.

In addition, an invasive plant called Arundo donax has become established in the watershed. This fast-growing, bamboo-like plant outcompetes native species and absorbs large quantities of moisture, depriving fish and wildlife of water they need for survival.

When Malibu Creek dries up, the JPA releases recycled water from the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility to help preserve habitat for endangered steelhead trout and other native aquatic life.

Invasive plants and weeds can also outcompete native plant species and eliminate the habitat and food source of native fish and wildlife. They can also provide food and shelter for undesirable non-native animals.

Certain invasive plants can even increase wildfire danger. While many invasives are drought-tolerant, they don’t belong in fire-prone Southern California.

Review this list of invasive plants before converting your lawn to a water-efficient landscape:

See our Native Plant Guide for a list of drought-tolerant, non-invasive plants.


More ways to stop the spread of invasives:

  • Do not release pets, aquatic animals or plants into the wild.
  • Wipe down your boat, trailer and fishing equipment after each use. Be careful not to release any non-native fish or bait into the water. Watch this video on YouTube  for proper boat cleaning instructions.
  • Wash boots and tires before hiking/traveling to or returning from a different watershed location. Let boots dry at least three days before using them in a different watershed.


What's In This Issue

Spring Gardening Tips

Outdoor watering accounts for nearly 70% of LVMWD’s customer water use. Consider water conservation when deciding what to plant in your flower or vegetable garden. Here are some quick tips to producing a garden that’s both healthy and water-wise:

o Remove any weeds that will compete for water.Native Plant

o For edible gardens, plant shorter season, drought-tolerant varieties. For flower gardens, select native, drought-tolerant plants.

o Group plants with similar watering needs together.

o Add Rancho Las Virgenes Community Compost to your soil. It aids in water retention in light soils and helps aerate heavier soils, so less watering is needed. The compost is available free of charge every Saturday, from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., at our Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility (3700 Las Virgenes Rd., Calabasas).Tomatoes

o Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch to protect plant roots from the heat and aid in water retention.

o Use a drip irrigation system to deliver water slowly, at low pressure, near plant roots.

o Irrigate between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to minimize water lost to evaporation.

Once your garden is established, be sure to share your pics with us on social media:



 What's In This Issue

Community Compost - Bulk Loads Available

Each Saturday, the popular free Community Compost program offers high-quality soil amendment to customers on a self-serve basis. The material can be transported using storage bags, bins or pickup trucks.Community Compost Bulk Loading

But did you know that bulk loading assistance is available on weekdays? There’s a nominal charge of $8 per cubic yard that must be prepaid at LVMWD’s Headquarters on Las Virgenes Road. Ideal for those with pickup trucks or commercial landscapers. More information on the bulk loading program.

What's In This Issue

Join Our Water Facility Tour May 6

Celebrate "Water Awareness Month" with a bus tour of the facilities that bring water to your home every day of the year. Register Las Virgenes Reservoir February 2017Quarterly Toursonline.

Tours start 8:45 a.m. and ends at approximately 1 p.m. It’s fun for the entire family, there’s no cost and a free light breakfast and lunch is included.







 What's In This Issue

At Your Service ~
eBilling and Free Credit Card Payment Option Available Soon!

eBilling-CreditCardseBilling, online bill payments and free credit card payments will soon be available. Even if you were registered for eBilling before, you must re-register because it’s a brand new system. Instructions will be mailed with your bill when the service is available, or go to








 What's In This Issue

The Missing PieceThe Missing Piece

Invasive species:

a. Can crowd out native species, altering the local environment.

b. Can be plants, animals or both.

c. Are difficult to eradicate.

d. All of the above.

Send your response to:

The Missing Piece, LVMWD, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302, or send to with "Missing Piece" in the subject line. Please include your mailing address in case you are a winner! Prizes awarded monthly to ten winners randomly selected from the correct responses. Watch for the answer in the next issue of The Current Flow.

 What's In This Issue

Previous issue’s Missing Piece answer:

Your home's monthly outdoor water budget:

a. Never changes
b. Is lower in the summer and higher in the winter
c. Is lower in the winter and higher in the summer

Answer: c

4232 Las Virgenes Road,  Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 251-2100

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