"It's Either Do It, Or You Die" California Regulators Clamp Down On Water Waste

Tyler Durden's picture


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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Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:31 | 4923223 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"California Regulators Clamp Down On Water Waste."

It's about time someone told Pelosi to stop hydrating.  It's not doing any good, Nancy.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:51 | 4923269 1stepcloser
1stepcloser's picture

Nancy needs to set an example of pissing into her lifestraw..

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:56 | 4923284 max2205
max2205's picture

Grapes of wrath....no house for you!

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 21:02 | 4923508 NoDecaf
NoDecaf's picture

Next stop - militarized water meter readers. That is, if they aren't already wearing cammies and tactical gear,hiding in the bushes and taking photos of the Jones family watering their lawn. Better yet, they may need to go straight to SWAT-like tactics and use dynamic entries to search for illegal waterbeds and fish tanks.

US-fucking A man....enjoy your hot dogs tomorrow

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 21:22 | 4923560 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Call out the drones to spot the water terrorists. You got a green lawn? Enough said. Cue the RoundUp chopper - we have a target for you.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:28 | 4923792 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

"Sacramento - the state's capital - is among the worst offenders and most heavily 'policed' as a team of 40 inspectors have handed out 2,444 notices year-to-date, with fines of up to $1,000 for repeat offenders. Neighbors are encouraged to whistleblow."

Sacramento has two large rivers that flows through it year round yet has the most draconian water restrictions.

Despite widespread news coverage of the drought, the state's major population centers have largely escaped severe mandatory rationing. Cities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas that have water shipped in from hundreds of miles away, have no water restrictions.  Meanwhile the Delta Smelt fish in the state's rivers get all the water they need and more.



Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:40 | 4923858 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

California water use:


Agricultural / industrial use is more than 5 times domestic residential usage.   Any limits on residential use are just for propaganda purposes. 

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:50 | 4923877 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

"Agricultural / industrial use is more than 5 times domestic residential usage."

Not this year. 

Farmers expect to get only a fraction — if any — of the water they need from vast government-controlled systems of canals and reservoirs interlacing the state. Obama said earlier this year that he would veto any bill passed by Congress that would provide water to farmers in the once fertile Central Valley.



Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:52 | 4924656 ninja247
ninja247's picture

OK so it's 4 times the domestic residential usage.

Still propaganda 

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:50 | 4923765 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Regulators "Either we do it or we die."   I think American voters in Calif with a few brain cells (not that many anymore) would wish that the regulators would just die.

Cloward Piven (liberalism) destroyed that beautiful state.  The scum there did not make it beautiful - God, Gaia, the creator, big bang or whatever you believe made it beautiful.  The liberal scum from the East Coast who came out and destroyed CA are an invasive species.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 08:02 | 4924300 redd_green
redd_green's picture

Heh, yeah, right.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:03 | 4923793 A Dollar Short
A Dollar Short's picture

She stopped long ago, have you seen her face lately?

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 02:58 | 4924089 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I live in the middle of the mojave desert, the high desert...

the only things that grow in my lot are tumbleweeds and local flora.  I root out the tumbleweeds but leave the rest.  Neighbors have grass and it's coming into my AO...and I'm getting tired of digging it up.  I think I'll let it grow this time but I've never watered anything in my patch of dirt.  And I am NOT mowing a fucking patch of grass. (I don't even Have a mower!)

What we usually get are California Poppies (no, I don't think they can make heroin), Desert Marigolds, mustard, joshua sprouts, sage, mormon tea, and cholla cactus.  These are all native plants and most of these don't make it past August. I can usually clear the land in September just by using a light broom.

My Town, Apple Valley, spent millions renovating half of a main road by putting a central median down it.  As they built it, thousands of us saw the extensive water pipes put in and started questioning the coming waste of water.  The Town apologized but said the funds were already committed (part of that Obama Shovel Ready Bullshit Program).  So we now have half of a main road that boasts very green, inedible plants and trees that are weeded weekly by five old white guys in coolie hats.  Government at it's finest.


Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:35 | 4923229 plane jain
plane jain's picture

Turf grass need an inch to an inch and a half of water a week.  Want a lawn?  Move some place where it rains.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:40 | 4923245 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"'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."

So many things wrong with this statement.  First, he's a disabled forklift operator spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home.  Second, he thinks the price of his home has something to do with the availability of water.  Third, he lives in California.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:42 | 4923252 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  First, he's a disabled forklift operator

On disability,  so he's really two forklift operators.  

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:58 | 4923281 SemperFudge
SemperFudge's picture

Can confirm. I'm an attorney in my late 20s, and the affordability of a home in the hundreds of thousands of dollars is a dubious proposition at best. And fuck this guy's lawn.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 02:42 | 4924084 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

"I'm an attorney in my late 20s"

Die you fucking bastard, DIE!!

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 03:07 | 4924092 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Nothing personal to you or anything...just a gut reaction to a self admitted attorney.

I really hate those bastards.  Clyde Melvin had it nailed.


Clyde Melvin is why we suddenly had metal detectors in Court Houses.  He shot a judge and an attorney in Port St. Joe Florida.  I knew everyone of those people, including the sheriff that shot Clyde http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1987-07-29/news/8703030069_1_clyde-melvin-gulf-pines-hospital-gulf-county-courthouse.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:22 | 4923827 Salsipuedes
Salsipuedes's picture

Isn't reading for comprehension against an Executive Order or something?

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 01:22 | 4924016 Ms. Erable
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And yet, in community after community in the IE, I see nothing but green grass on city/county properties and buildings, street medians, and the local Gestapo and Fire houses - not to mention squeaky-clean, dirt-free city/county/state vehicles. Guess they missed the memo that they're IN THE FUCKING DESERT; no matter how much tar and concrete you slap over it, that ain't gonna change.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 01:38 | 4924033 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

"And yet, in community after community in the IE, I see nothing but green grass on city/county properties and buildings, street medians, and the local Gestapo and Fire houses - not to mention squeaky-clean, dirt-free city/county/state vehicles."

Go figure. The IE has no water restrictions yet it is in the desert but Sacramento has severe water restrictions despite having two large rivers that flow through the city.

SoCal has the majority of the state's voters and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has a lot of clout. 



Fri, 07/04/2014 - 03:27 | 4924103 Isotope
Isotope's picture

"Forget it Jake; it's Chinatown."

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:18 | 4924578 Brutlstrudl
Brutlstrudl's picture

"Water, Mr. Gittes".

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:40 | 4923246 Bangin7GramRocks
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Repeat after me Californians, "If its yellow, let it mellow. If its brown, flush it down."

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:43 | 4923255 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Brown will be easily reelected.  

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:22 | 4923366 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Brown keeps going down the pipe.....then...ploop.....keeps resurfacing in the bowl.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:38 | 4923422 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

He's a floater.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 21:23 | 4923564 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

The more gas in a turd the higher it floats.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:36 | 4923851 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Some shit won't go down no matter how many times you flush.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 13:33 | 4924881 SF beatnik
SF beatnik's picture

In China, yellow and brown both go into the fields. Fertilizer.


There are books at Amazon that tell how to do this safely.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 21:30 | 4923585 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

yep, notwithstanding he'll rather spend $100 BILLION on a fucking train to nowhere, while we can't build water and road infrastructure.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:36 | 4923230 Max Cynical
Max Cynical's picture

If this is such a problem, why isn't there a moratorium on new housing?

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:39 | 4923242 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Or growing rice.  

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:48 | 4923265 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I had to look it up.  Turns out rice is the San Francisco treat.  I thought it was something else.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:17 | 4923349 knukles
knukles's picture

Not in the Castro ....

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:23 | 4923367 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

You mean anal beads are not a specie of rice ?    And all this time.......

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:36 | 4923416 knukles
knukles's picture


This rice tastes like shit!

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 22:48 | 4923764 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Funny!!!           Milestrones

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:33 | 4923404 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture


Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:15 | 4923344 Gold N Glocks
Gold N Glocks's picture

or deportations of all wetbacks?

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:35 | 4923232 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

Had a job offer in Fresno recently.  This is one of the main reasons I did not take it.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 20:20 | 4923355 augustusgloop
augustusgloop's picture

If you had a job offer roughly anywhere south 40 degrees latitude and west of 110 longitude you would be dependent on a vast government water project either federal or state. no need to pick on fresno.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 02:13 | 4924063 LosOsos
LosOsos's picture

Sorry to be picky about the details but this isn't wholey true. I live in a town called San Luis Obispo in the southern part of the worst drought area and our potable water isn't supplied by the feds or the state. We have multiple man made reseviours that supply our water. While some of these are getting critically low (Lake Nacimiento is at 20% and the ground water isn't doing well) our other reseviours are OK and we haven't had any water restrictions put in place.


The Central Valley used to be a wetland when the Spanish arrived. Unfortunately we fucked up the natural flow of water and exceeded the carrying capacity in too many places in the South West. Reap what you sow.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:11 | 4924560 soccersimulation
soccersimulation's picture

We almost moved to Los Osos a couple years back. Nice area. I hadn't realized that Nacimiento was a county level project. Very nice! Have you ever read Cadillac Desert? There are a coupel of excellent chapters on the former Tulare Lake wetlands.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:37 | 4923237 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

SacTown didn't even have water meters 20 years ago - so use all you want! Not sure if they ever got them installed. Doesn't sound like it if the need inspectors.

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 00:13 | 4923807 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

"SacTown didn't even have water meters 20 years ago - so use all you want!"

Sacramento is one of the few places in California that has two large rivers flowing through it all year round. Jealous state legislators from parched Southern California and from the parched San Francisco Bay Area demanded that Sacramento’s residents be put on water meters about five years ago so that more water could flow south to Southern California and West to the San Francisco Bay Area. Water meters have been installed in about half of the city so far. 



Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:39 | 4923244 Vint Slugs
Vint Slugs's picture

"Neighbors are encouraged to whistleblow...."


Hey, Tylers, words have specific meanings:   this is a case of "informing on" not whistleblowing.


Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:53 | 4923272 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Who would down you for that?  See something, say something.  Can't even watch a fucking Blu-ray anymore without being reminded at the beginning that I'll be spending life in the ass slammer if I even think about trying to copy it.  

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 19:43 | 4923251 tmosley
tmosley's picture

"the rules are enforced by charging higher fees for excess usage"

The correct way.

"inspectors are deployed to crack down on scofflaws"

The incorrect way.

Let a market price develop for water.  If they want green lawns so bad, they can pay for them through higher fees on their overusages.  If enough people do it, they can bring in water from anywhere.  Once upon a time there were proposals on the table for aqueducts to reach from Alaska and Canada to the southwest.  They've got all the water the lower 48 could ever need up there.  

A more likely solution would probably be desalianization, though.  That is also possible if enough people were willing to pay for green lawns.

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