Regulators approved fines yesterday for washing cars, watering lawns and spraying sidewalks after numbers came in showing that residents have been using more water despite the call for reducing water use during California’s drought.
According to USA Today (warning: link has video that autoplays), this is the first emergency conservation measure the state has used to try to force its residents to take the three-year dry spell seriously.
Last week the State Water Resources Control Board proposed a ban on watering lawns, washing cars/sidewalks/driveways and running fountains. Violate those rules and you’ll face fines of $500 per day. The board officially adopted those measures last night.
“Not everybody in California understands how bad this drought is … and how bad it could be,” Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said before the vote. “There are communities in danger of running out of water all over the state.”
And if the hit to the wallet doesn’t work, the state might have to put even stricter rules in place, like requiring residents to fix leaking pipes.
Up to 80% of the state is in the midst of “exceptional drought conditions,” the board says, with about 50 communities facing serious water shortages. The drought is expected to last into next year.
Calif. OKs $500 fines for wasting water [USA Today]