LOS ANGELES—On February 2, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city of Los Angeles has reduced its water use by 20 percent, meeting a goal he set several years ago in response to the drought in California.

The announcement took place at the first annual “Drop Defenders” awards, where Los Angeles residents were being honored for outstanding water conservation.

According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, in October 2014, Mayor Garcetti issued Executive Directive No. 5, which challenges Los Angeles residents to cut back on their water use by 20 percent.

Residents are currently using around 104 gallons per person each day, compared to the 131 gallons that were used in 2014.

“I challenged Los Angeles to take the lead in conservation because clean, fresh water is a natural resource like no other – scarce, but available at the turn of a tap and easily wasted if we aren’t mindful of how we use it,” stated Mayor Garcetti. “I am proud of Angelenos for achieving this historic reduction in our water use and I am especially proud of our Drop Defenders for showing all of us how to make every drop count.”

The Drop Defenders challenge was launched by the city of Los Angeles and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles in September 2016. It is a program aimed to recognize the city’s residents who took extraordinary measures to conserve water. These measures include taking shorter showers, switching to California-friendly landscapes, installing rain barrels, cisterns, and high efficiency toilets, as well as reducing landscape watering.

The Drop Defenders challenge is also part of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles award-winning program, Save the Drop campaign.

“Achieving 20 percent per capita water savings is a tremendous achievement for our city,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright. “The efforts by the Drop Defenders exemplify the actions that have enabled us to reach the impressive goal.”

“We continue to encourage all customers to continue save water, to make water conservation a way of life in our arid region, and to take full advantage of our many rebate programs so they can save both water and money,” Wright added.

According to the press release, all winners received an official City Certificate formally declaring them as “Drop Defenders” and a golden garden gnome statuette.

“There are many reasons to be hopeful for L.A.’s water conservation efforts,” said Tamkin Collins, a Council District 8 winner. “We are driving a culture change. More and more individuals are spreading knowledge and awareness about saving every drop we can, and our family and friends are each taking small steps that all add up.”

The 20 percent reduction of water use also met the 2017 goal of “Sustainability City pLAn.”

The next water conservation goal is a 22.5 percent reduction by 2025, which is a component of a long-term strategy to decrease reliance on uncertain water supplies.

For more information about challenge and the Drop Defenders, please visit SavetheDropLA.org.