Workers install a system for recirculating water at the Los Angeles county government’s car wash. | Photo by Los Angeles Daily News

Workers install a system for recirculating water at the Los Angeles county government’s car wash. | Photo by Los Angeles Daily News

As the drought in California continues, officials in Los Angeles County have upped their standards when it comes to how much water can be used by government employees. County officials came under scrutiny this summer when residents learned they were breaking their own guidelines when it comes to water use. Some officials admitted to having their vehicles washed as many as two to three times a week.

Now Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that government officials will be limited to monthly car washes for their county-issued vehicles. The county has imposed rules to force its employees to comply. Previously there were only guidelines in place to dictate water use.

With a fleet of roughly 12,500 vehicles, the county bureaucracy could conserve many thousands of gallons of water, although officials have not projected savings from the new policy.

“It’s so important for us to conserve water that we have to hold people accountable,” said Rachel Stich, a spokeswoman for the environmental group Los Angeles Waterkeeper. “People don’t just do it on their own.”

So far, many employees say following the rules has not been difficult. One of the county’s automated car washes already operates using reclaimed water. Some departments have also started using waterless car washing methods to meet the rules.

“There’s no pushback from the guys,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Chris Read.. “It’s actually pretty easy.”