Sprinklers at Brand Park

James Schulz rides through sprinklers at Brand Park on Friday, April 11, 2008. (Roger Wilson / Staff Photographer / August 28, 2014)

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Glendale Water & Power recently launched a pilot program that will give thousands of customers more thorough information on how many gallons of water they consume, while providing tips for cutting back, in a move to spur greater conservation among residents.

Beginning this month, residents will receive bi-monthly reports detailing the number of gallons of water they use according to the day, week or month, and see how those rates compare with homes of similar lot size.

Residents will also receive suggestions for reducing use, such as limiting a shower to five minutes a day to save 11 gallons of water or switching to a low-flush toilet to save 34 gallons of water daily.

About 18,000 single-family residential customers will receive reports.

Alerts provided by the WaterInsight program will also prompt residents to address any leaks if their water usage spikes over a 24-hour period, said Glendale Water & Power Manager Steve Zurn.

The pilot program is expected to end next summer, although officials are looking to expand it in hopes that the more informational tools residents have, the more they can focus on their water usage patterns.

"If customers have near real-time access to their water information, they know how and when they are using water until waiting to receive a bill to pay," Zurn said in an email.

Earlier this summer, in response to one of the worst droughts the state has experienced in decades, city officials reactivated an anonymous tip line, encouraging residents to report fellow homeowners or businesses wasting water.

In July, after the State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency water-conservation regulations, the City Council limited outdoor irrigation to 10 minutes three times a week — Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Zurn suggested limiting water use outdoors, saying 60% of a home's water use goes to landscaping. He also said it's a good idea to turn off the water while brushing teeth or shaving, and, while waiting for shower water to warm up, catching the colder water in a bucket and putting it to use in other ways, such as watering house plants.