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More State Water Restrictions

Sacramento, CA –   Residents and businesses will face more water restrictions as today the State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) adopted an expanded emergency regulation to protect the state’s remaining water supplies.

WRCB Chair Felicia Marcus warns, “If the drought continues through next winter and we do not conserve more — the consequences could be even more catastrophic than they already are.  Today’s action is just a tune-up and a reminder to act, and we will consider more significant actions in the weeks to come.”

 As reported in February, Governor Jerry Brown’s emergency water conservation measure expires in April and the board announced that January’s water conservation numbers across the state had seriously declined, setting in motion today’s vote to extend the water conservation, first adopted in July 2014, and expanded water bans. Here are the Board’s emergency regulations affecting all Californians:

  • Washing down sidewalks and driveways
  • Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff
  • Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle
  • Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system
  • (new) Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.

(New)  Prohibitions affecting commercial businesses include:

  • Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request
  • Operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.

Water Agencies will also be required to limit customers to two days per week of outdoor watering.  Those caught breaking the rules can be fined up to $500 a day and the board can issue cease and desist orders against water agencies that fail to make retailers follow the mandatory conservation measures.