"It's Either Do It, Or You Die" California Regulators Clamp Down On Water Waste
While Las Vegas faces an existential crisis (and appears to be ignoring it), California regulators are starting to clamp down on water waste. As WSJ reports, about 60 California cities and agencies have imposed mandatory water-use cutbacks, some as high as 50%. In many cases, the rules are enforced by charging higher fees for excess usage. In others, inspectors are deployed to crack down on scofflaws. Sacramento - the state's capital - is among the worst offenders and most heavily 'policed' as a team of 40 inspectors have handed out2,444 notices year-to-date, with fines of up to $1,000 for repeat offenders. Neighbors are encouraged to whistleblow - there has been 7,604 water-use complaints; but not everyone is embracing the change as lawn repair is down 40% - "The propaganda dictates we haven't much choice... It's either do it or you die."
As WSJ reports, the drought is starting to hit real people's lives...
The pain of California's three-year drought is spreading from its agricultural belt to urban lawns and backyards, where residents are being hit with fines for excess water use, and businesses such as golf courses and lawn care are seeing revenue dry up due to water restrictions.
About 60 California cities and agencies have imposed mandatory water-use cutbacks, some as high as 50%. In many cases, the rules are enforced by charging higher fees for excess usage. In others, inspectors are deployed to crack down on scofflaws.
Among the most aggressively monitored locales is the state capital, Sacramento, which issued 2,444 notices of violation in the first 5½ months of the year, with fines of up to $1,000 for repeat offenders.
This year, the city cut outdoor watering to two days a week from three. Because only about half its homes have water meters to measure use, Sacramento must rely on inspectors to help enforce the rules.
A team of 40 inspectors working for the city's Department of Utilities investigate complaints. Sacramento, a city of 475,000, had received 7,604 water-use complaints as of June 18, said city spokeswoman Jessica Hess.
Sacramento said the goal is to change behavior, not raise revenue, but it's not just California...
Residential water restrictions have been instituted in other drought-ravaged parts of the country, including Texas, Kansas and North Carolina. Irrigation-dependent industries there and in California have been hurt.
The people are not happy...
In Sacramento, Bob Odom said his family's lawn-equipment repair business has dropped 40% this year from last year because of watering restrictions. "The propaganda dictates we haven't much choice," said Mr. Odom, 80. "It's either do it or you die."
Some residents are angry about the crackdown. "We spend hundreds of thousands for our homes and can't even water the grass," said Richard Massey, a 46-year-old disabled forklift operator, as he watched Mr. Geach cite a neighbor.
Finally, Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a 20% cut in overall water use since he declared a drought emergency in January. The State Water Resources Control Board is set to consider in July restrictions on such uses as operating outdoor fountains.
"Everyone is at risk over time from this drought," said board chairwoman Felicia Marcus. "It really is all for one and one for all."
And yet we go on as normal ignoring this ugly reality...
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