New water rules coming to aid conservation during California drought

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There will be tough new water restrictions and possibly major fines for people using too much water in California.

There will be some tough new water restrictions and major fines heading our way because of the ongoing California drought.

"We are meeting or slightly exceeding and are on track to meet our water conservation goals, both here in Livermore and throughout the Tri-Valley," Livermore Public Works director Dan McIntyre said.

Livermore city leaders saw what the drought was doing and took action early on by implementing mandatory water conservation. However, water users in other communities have not been as conservative, either neglecting to cut back on water usage or ignoring the call to conserve all together. Therefore, this week, state regulators made it clear that they are considering new rules for all of California.

"Nothing that's being adopted by the state or being considered by the state, is not something that we're not already doing throughout the Tri-Valley," McIntyre said.

If approved, the new rules will also come with tough new fines of up to $500 a day for overwatering lawns or washing a car without a nozzle on the hose.

"During the summer, about half of the water demand is outdoor irrigation," McIntyre said.

A transportation sign on southbound I-680 is serving a reminder to commuters flying down the highway to put the brakes on their water usage. Even those not old enough to drive have gotten the message that California's water situation is serious.

Avery, 7, told us she knows "not to use a lot of water."

And 8-year-old Kaden said, "Because if we don't have water, we're going to be really thirsty."

Most water agencies and consumers in the Bay Area have cut back some, but hardly enough to avert a crisis.

"It's irritating..." Walnut Creek Carol Lutz said.

Lutz believes everyone should do their part. Now those agencies without a plan would have to act within 30 days to require their residents to restrict outdoor irrigation to no more than two days each week or take other mandatory steps to conserve the same amount of water.

"If I could just get my son to take showers that were less than 15 minutes, I know that would help in the scheme of things," Lutz said.

Agencies that do not comply, according to regulators, could face fines as much as $10,000 a day.
Related Topics:
waterwater conservationcalifornia waterdroughtcalifornia legislationSacramento
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