Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, applauds efforts to enforce water conservation in California.
The State Water Resources Control Board has approved an emergency regulation to approve fines up to $500 a day for residents who waste water on lawns, landscaping and car washing.
“Our drought is such a threat that voluntary measures are not enough to protect our future," Williams said. "It is crucial that we all do our part to conserve California’s water. From fixing broken sprinklers, cease watering landscaping, to taking shorter showers, simple steps can go a long way. Many local water agencies offer conservation incentives, like irrigation control devices and help with landscaping.”
California is experiencing the worst drought in nearly four decades. The new conservation regulation is aimed at reducing outdoor water use. The regulation adopted by the State Water Board mandates minimum actions to conserve water supplies both for this year and into 2015. Most Californians use more water outdoors than indoors. In some areas, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping.
This regulation will expect Californians to stop washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff; using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle, and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated. The regulation makes an exception for health and safety circumstances.
“The drought impacts are being felt by communities all over California," Williams said. "It is crucial that Californians start saving water immediately to avoid much more severe regulations in the future if the drought persists. Please call my office for a brochure on Ways to Save Water, which includes saving tips that can save each household thousands of gallons of water each month.”
A recent survey conducted by the State Water Quality Control Board revealed that conservation measures to date have failed to achieve the 20 percent reduction in water use mandated by Gov. Jerry Brown. Water usage has increased in California by 1 percent. The new restrictions are estimated to save enough water statewide to supply more than 3.5 million people for a year.
— Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.