California is considering mandatory conservation rules after not meeting its voluntary targets. According to records release by the State Water Resource Control Board California residents only decreased their water usage by four percent since March.
Governor Jerry Brown has said that the state needs to be taking water conversation more seriously and the voluntary targets are not enough. After a two-day meeting the state board got an update on water usage in the state and is now considering tough measures to combat the drought effecting the CA.
Community agencies in the state issued 8,762 warnings for water waste and issued 682 penalties, most occurred in Los Angels, who issued 1,364 warnings and Fresno who gave out 1,221 warnings, but most communities were not as aggressive and issued around 20 warnings. Fresno, Madera, Montecito, Sacramento, and Tulare were the only agencies that reported penalizing more than 20 customers in March, mostly through fines.
Some local water departments have said the proposed mandatory conservation bans for CA are unfair and not realistic. Officials say they should start seeing water savings as soon as June and are willing to impose regulations and restrictions for agencies that fall behind. The Governor said last week that he would push for legislation allowing fines of up to $10,000 for extreme water wasters. Tiered pricing in which the price rises as water use goes up, is being questioned, after a court struck down water rates that were design to promote conservation in the city of San Juan Capistrano.
With California considering mandatory conservation rules for water, things like lush lawns will be the first thing to go, something that people fear will decrease property vales. Opponents of the new rules point to a loss of $1 billion in revenue due to decreased water sales if targets are met.
By Jessica Hamel
Photo by Kevin Cortopassi-Creativecommons Flickr License