California to have state-wide mandatory water restrictions Aug. 1

Folsom Lake reservoirFolsom Lake is a reservoir in Northern California

Yesterday, July 15, 2014, California’s State Water Resources Control Board voted to impose mandatory statewide water-use restrictions for the first time in state history, effective August 1.
Fines of up to $500 a day will be imposed on businesses and individuals for wasting water on landscaping, washing cars without a shut-off nozzle or other outdoor uses.
The new restrictions are prompted by California’s 3-year drought and by the results of a water-use survey showing that overall consumption in California actually increased 1% in 2014, despite pleas from Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown for residents and businesses to voluntarily cut back use by 20%. The increased usage is attributable to two regions of the state: Southern California coastal communities (Hollywood!) and the far northeastern slice of the state.
While no region of California met Brown’s request for a 20% reduction, some came closer than others:

  • Communities that draw from the Sacramento River reduced consumption the most, by 13%.
  • The North Coast reduced consumption by 12%.
  • San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California cities that draw from the Colorado River decreased water use by 5%.

Cities and suburbs use about 20% of the state’s water, with about half going outdoors. Agriculture is by far the greatest water user, accounting for 75% of consumption in the state.
The sweeping list of mandates from the state includes:

  • A ban on watering down sidewalks and driveways — except for sanitation purposes, e.g., allowing cities to power-wash alleyways to get rid of human waste left by homeless people, to scrub away graffiti, and to remove oil and grease from parking structure floors.
  • No more washing a vehicle or boat without a shut-off nozzle on the hose.
  • Fountains must use recycled water.
  • No watering so much as to cause runoff.

Fines of up to $500 for individuals and $10,000 for water districts could be issued for non-compliance.
It will be up to local governments and water districts to decide how to implement the mandates. The full $500-a-day fine, considered an infraction, could be reserved for repeat violators, for example. Others might receive warnings or smaller fines based on a sliding scale.
State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus said, “The state cannot be in a situation where this goes two, three, four years and we’re dealing with massive numbers of cities running out of water. Our intention is that it would be enforceable at the local level by any enforcement capability local agencies currently have. We are trying not to reinvent any wheel.”
If fines fail to promote conservation, Marcus said the board would consider other steps such as requiring water districts to stop leaks in their pipes, which account for an estimated 10% of water use, stricter landscape restrictions and encouraging water agencies to boost rates for consumers who use more than their share of water.
Sources: CBS San Francisco; AP
And yet California is adding to the state population by receiving untold numbers from the “surge” of illegals crossing the US-Mexico border.
And yet, despite the ever-increasing population and therefore water users, the state government is doing NOTHING to increase water supply by building more reservoirs and dams because of opposition from environmentalists green Nazis.
~Eowyn

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Sheri
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Sheri

Great article. Just wish more Californian’s would wake up.

andrewlbc
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Here in California, 80% of the water goes to agriculture, and of that… nearly 20% is used to grow Almond trees because of massive profit margins. The problem is, during the past decade almond farming has increased many fold and nobody seems to care that they require more water than any other crop. This is not just a California trend, but Arizona as well. Many of the fields I used to hunt doves in each year are no longer grains vegetables. They’re now all planted with almond trees so those fields are all off-limits now. Oh… and most of these… Read more »

TrailDust
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TrailDust

Here in our town of Nothingham, Massachusetts, one of the country’s most water-rich areas, we just noticed signs warning of Water Restrictions. On looking into the restrictions, we found that the local town fathers recently signed a bill agreeing with a state-wide water ban. This ban finds its origin in environmental activists in Massachusetts government. The restrictions run from April thru September, the whole Summer, regardless of actual water levels in the town. Note: for the past two days we have been under flash flood warning from the weather services. (Don’t you wonder if we’ll soon see a SWAT team… Read more »

truckjunkie
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truckjunkie

And yet California is adding to the state population by receiving untold numbers from the “surge” of illegals crossing the US-Mexico border.
And yet, despite the ever-increasing population and therefore water users, the state government is doing NOTHING to increase water supply by building more reservoirs and dams because of opposition from environmentalists green Nazis.
Unfortunately,Common Sense has NOTHING to do with California’s political machine.

Dave
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Dave

I think the California State Water Resources Control Board needs to be investigated, or better yet fired and replaced with people that know what they are doing.
Fining residents for their own incompetence is unacceptable.
-Dave

Seumas
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Seumas

First, they need to charge hollywood properly for wasting water, no excuses for “movies” (if they can be called such) make them port in water from places that have too much, plain and simple. Furthermore, this is the cost of all those blasted vineyards to satisfy the psychopathic need for wine, having to babysit all those grapes just to make sure they turn into rotten juice later is ludicrous and wasteful. Not to mention all the asphault which ensures any rainfall that does occur, does not go into the ground proper (Ergo not into the water tables), but is redirected… Read more »

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Larry Fields
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Larry Fields

Dr. Eowyn wrote: “And yet, despite the ever-increasing population and therefore water users, the state government is doing NOTHING to increase water supply by building more reservoirs and dams because of opposition from environmentalists green Nazis.” I agree with you about the illegals. However California water issues are complex. Aside from pulling the plug on the Delta Smelt, there’s not much that we can realistically do to increase the supply of water. Yes, there’s always desal, but that’s expensive. Every homeowner in Melbourne, Australia is shelling out hundreds of dollars per year to pay for the construction costs of their… Read more »