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California drought worsening: New water restrictions carry penalty of up to $500

As California imposed its first-ever statewide rules to punish water wasters, a new survey showed why state officials say the drastic measures are needed: Californians increased their water use amid the worst drought in decades.


2014-01-23T19:25:06+00:00
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As California imposed its first-ever statewide rules to punish water wasters, a new survey showed why state officials say the drastic measures are needed: Californians increased their water use amid the worst drought in decades.

The new rules, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on a 4-0 vote, impose new restrictions on outdoor water use starting Aug. 1 that could result in fines of up to $500 per violation. Gov. Jerry Brown in January asked Californians to slash their water use by 20 percent. But a new state survey released Tuesday showed that water use in May rose by 1 percent this year, compared with a 2011-2013 May average.

The survey of 267 water providers by the water board found that water consumption in the Bay Area dropped 5 percent. But in coastal California, south of Santa Barbara, consumption rose 8 percent. "California is in the worst drought we've seen in our grandparents' generation or beyond," said Felicia Marcus, the water board's chairwoman. "Fields are going fallow. Thousands of people are going to be out of work. Some communities are out of water -- they're bathing out of buckets, and water trucks are coming in to help them.

"But many parts of California don't seem to realize how bad it is," she said, "because they are so far away from their source of water. We are all in this together, and this is not a time to waste water."

The new rules ban washing cars without a nozzle on a hose;

watering driveways or sidewalks;

using potable water in ornamental fountains;

and over-watering landscaping so that water runs off into roads and adjacent properties.

Recycled water is exempt.

Under the new statewide rules, any agency that does not impose mandatory conservation measures could be subject to state fines of up to $10,000 a day. But it remained unclear Tuesday whether local agencies will be able to keep in place rules that don't include enforcement or penalties.

More than 60 percent of a regular residential home's water usage goes to lawns, to fight the drought effectively, changing real greens to artificial grass or other low water

requiring plantation becomes almost imminent. Synthetic grass company, Global Syn-Turf, Inc. offers more than 50 different type of artificial grass products with distribution centers throughout California: From Sacramento to Fresno to San Francisco Bay Area to Greater Los Angeles, you will be able to find their wonderful product to fit your preference.

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There are no signs of severe drought in California this year, but the state legislators continue to move down the road of water wasting mindset prevention. As a reminder to those residents and businesses who have gotten a little lazy and are back to using as much water as before the drought, water legislations are passing on through eight phases of the mandatory water conservation program. It's Murphy's law: "Just when you think things cannot get any worse, they will." But there is also some good news for Californians. Minimum wage is going up to $11-$12 per hour depending on company size. Women are getting more protection. Illegal businesses of the past are making into respected taxpayers.

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America loves green, lush lawns. Outdoor lifestyle is threatened by severe drought and a climate change. Lawns dry out. Dried earth.

The state of Califonia is currently in its fifth year of severe drought. Despite Governor Brown's declaration of a state drought emergency in 2014, Californias fell short of the mandated water conservation target.

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