People, Environment

California Water Agencies Fined

California Water Agencies Fined
California Water Agencies Fined

Officials battling the historic California drought have issued their first round of $500-a-day fines against four communities for being water hogs the past several months.

The four communities have accumulated fines of $61,000 each, and they are all located in southern California: Beverly Hills, the city of Indio, the city of Redlands, and the Coachella Valley Water District, CNN reported.

Under Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to conserve water by a statewide average of 25%, the State Water Resources Control Board said the four urban communities “have consistently failed to meet their water conservation goals.”

“Up and down the state, residents and water suppliers are making the necessary sacrifices needed to help California meet its conservation goals. However, some urban water suppliers simply have not met the requirements laid before them,” Cris Carrigan, director of the Office of Enforcement, said in a statement.

“For these four suppliers, it’s been too little too late to achieve their conservation standard,” Carrigan added.

To achieve the 25% reduction statewide, emergency regulations assign each urban water district a figure between 4% and 36%, with the higher numbers assigned to those communities that use a lot of water.

Overall, Californians reduced their water usage by more than 26% in September, exceeding the 25% mandate, the state agency said.

“Millions of Californians have saved water during the summer months, which are the four most critical months to save water,” Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, said in a statement. “Now, we need to keep it up as best we can, even as we hope for as much rain and snow as we can safely handle. We’re in the position of having to prepare for drought and flooding at the same time, but that’s what we’re faced with.”

California is in its fourth year of one of the most severe droughts on record.