Los Angeles County Board Of Supervisors Unanimously Approves Water Use Fines
California is is drying up, and agencies across the state are scrambling to find a resolution to the water crisis.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure by Supervisor Don Knabe to adopt the State Water Resources Control Board, or SWRCB, emergency regulations for water conservation Tuesday.
That same day, Castaic Lake Water Agency officials met with leaders from Santa Clarita Valley water retailers.
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“We met on a staff level (Tuesday) and we talked about how the (new conservation measures) might be implemented and the conclusion that we are arriving at is a stage-type of process with warnings and progressive fines,” said Dirk Marks, the water resources manager for the Castaic Lake Water Agency. “The objective is to use this as more of an educational process -- to save water, not fine people.”
SWRCB officials adopted a resolution that includes prohibiting certain water uses, including washing down driveways and sidewalks, using a hose to wash a car unless it is fitted with a shut-off nozzle and using potable water in a fountain, unless the water is recirculated, according to the press release.
Many Californians aren't taking the drought seriously, according to an NBC News report. State water regulators are trying to change that by imposing fines up to $500 a day for wasting water.
Cities and water districts reportedly are being given wide latitude on how the fines will be implemented. 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.
The new water regulations by the Santa Clarita Valley water retailers are set to begin in August, Marks said. The county regulations begin August 1.
“Eighty percent of California is suffering from extreme drought conditions with no relief in sight,” said Supervisor Knabe in the press release. “As the largest employer in Los Angeles County, we maintain and operate over 5,000 buildings and facilities. We need to ensure our house is in order and not only do our part in our unincorporated areas, but also set an example for the 88 cities in the County.”
The SWRCB also plans on limiting outdoor watering to two days a week and requiring suppliers to report per capita usage.
Marks, who attended the Tuesday meeting said the CLWA officials wanted all four water retailers represented “to develop a consistent way to implement these requirements.”
A meeting with the Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee, which includes Marks and the leaders from the water retailers in the valley is set for July 29 at 3:30 p.m. at the Castaic Lake Water Agency. The meeting is open to the public.
“That would be the meeting where we discuss adopting an action plan to implement necessary conservation regulations and the criteria for those regulations,” Marks said.
NBC News contributed to this report
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