Californians could face fines up to $500 per day for wasting water under proposed ordinance


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Residents who are caught wasting water could be fined up to $500 per day thanks to a new proposed water ordinance from the California State Water Resources Control Board.

With the state’s drought conditions, Sacramento resident Dan Montoya said his sprinklers will be taking a long break.

“Personally, I don’t water my lawn anymore. I just let the rain do it,” he told FOX40.

It’s a decision Montoya made back in the summer, and it’s in good time as the state’s water board just proposed new rules on water usage prohibiting anyone from watering grass within two days of rain, washing a car without a shutoff nozzle and having water run into the street or sidewalk.

“I think the fines are kind of steep. There should be warnings involved and things like that,” Montoya said.

Within the city of Sacramento, these rules have already been in place.

“Those things are prohibited in the city of Sacramento,” said Carlos Eliason with the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities.

The focus for the city of Sacramento is to educate, and fines for overwatering lawns or gardens can be waived by participating in a water conservation program.

“We want to make sure that people aren’t wasting water, but we want to help them out if they happened to do so without their knowing,” Eliason explained.

The fines in Sacramento can actually be up to $1,000 following a fourth notice of violation, exceeding the state’s fine amount.

“If a person repeatedly offends, I think a fine is appropriate,” Montoya said.

Even with all these rules in place, the Regional Water Authority just announced 17% of Sacramento-area residents reduced their water usage in October compared to the same time last year, proving that people are taking the drought into consideration.

The city of Sacramento also encourages people to turn off their sprinklers during this time of year because of the weather changes during the cooler months.

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