Gov. Brown pleased with South Bay's water conservation efforts

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Governor Brown is going to each region of the state to preach water conservation and is reminding cities of the mandatory reductions. (KGO-TV )

Across the state, water users are making tough choices about what sacrifices they'll make to meet new state mandated cutbacks.

On the Peninsula, Redwood City is making it easier for residents to have green lawns and vegetable gardens.

A plant yielding 20 pounds of tomatoes consumes 140 gallons of water during its lifecycle, but there's no restriction on using recycled water for gardens and lawns. The Governor Brown is surprised at how the Bay Area is doing conserving water.

Governor Brown is going to each region of the state to preach conservation. Cities and water agencies are under threat of $10,000 per day fines if they don't meet their mandated water reductions, which in some parts of the Bay Area are 32 to 36 percent.

Brown thinks that strategy is working.

"The two prongs of government persuade and coerce," Brown said. "Right now, we're doing a fine job of persuasion."

Many South Bay cities, including San Jose, have set goals even higher than the state mandate and they're on track.

"He was very pleased and of course,it makes you proud by reflection of the people that we have here in Silicon Valley and the efforts they've made," said Santa Clara mayor Jamie Matthews.

One reason is innovation. Redwood City is giving away recycled water from a regional waste treatment plant. The water can be used for lawns, fountains, and even for Manfred Kipp's backyard tomato garden.

Kipp can fill up to a maximum of 300 gallons at a time in his own tank, as often as every day. He had to take a short class first.

"They tell you the don'ts and dos, then they give you a sticker, and everything works fine," Kipp said.

His tomato plants are thriving. They should be producing tomatoes by early July.

"It is wonderful. It's a long time coming," Regina Kipp said. "I don't have grass anymore. I took that out, but I have vegetable plants. I have potted plants."

This is the same water that commercial users get from a network of purple pipes for landscape irrigation at office parks.

Even the governor is on board saving water.

"Well, I didn't take a shower before I came here," Brown said.

To learn how much your city is required to cut back, click here. For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. And click here for tips on how to conserve water. To learn more about how to report water wasters #WhereYouLive, click here.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.
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weatherdroughtbeat the droughtcalifornia waterwaterwater conservationgardeningpainthomeownersSanta ClaraLos AltosSan Francisco
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