Californians must tighten their water belts yet again or face financial penalties.
On Tuesday the State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency regulations to limit outdoor water use including: not watering lawns for two days after rain, not using drinking water to clean sidewalks and driveways, having sprinklers run onto sidewalks, washing cars without having a nozzle to stop water when not in use, outdoor watering that causes runoff into the street, and not watering turf in medians.
If these rules seem familiar, that’s because California adopted similar restrictions during the five-year drought that ended in 2017.
Fines for not following the emergency rules can cost $500 per day.
“Conserving water and reducing water waste are critical and necessary habits for everyone to adopt as we adjust to these uncertainties and we build resilience to climate change, so adopting emergency regulations now just makes sense,” said Eric Oppenheimer, chief deputy director for the state water board. “We need to be prepared for continued drought.”
The action follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call last year for a voluntary 15% reduction in water use where Californians failed to meet the goal, only conserving 6%.
Mandates are expected to go into effect January 15th and will stay in place for one year unless renewed.