Local Water Agencies Ordered to Enforce Statewide Water Restrictions

August 16, 2014 17:00 pm · 50 comments

california public utilities

A state agency this week ordered local water agencies to enforce mandatory statewide water restrictions implemented because of California’s severe drought, the California Public Utilities Commission Announced.

The CPUC is requiring local water districts to alert customers to restrictions adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board within 10 days in local newspapers and on websites and to directly notify customers by mail or email within 20 days, the CPUC said.

The mandatory restrictions adopted by the state on July 15 include prohibiting the use of drinking water for outdoor landscapes causing runoff; using a hose without an automatic shutoff nozzle to wash cars; using drinking water to wash driveways and sidewalks; and using drinking water in a decorative fountain.

The state has also limited outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes to two days a week. Violations of the prohibited actions are punishable with a fine of up to $500 per day, the CPUC said.

The local agencies must also keep track of their progress in enforcing the mandatory water use restrictions and report to the state board by the 15th of each month beginning in October, the CPUC said.

This week two Bay Area districts passed new mandatory restrictions on water use. The East Bay Municipal Utility District passed similar mandatory restrictions to the state while the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission passed some restrictions on outdoor irrigation but stopped short of the statewide restrictions.

Neither mandatory reduction by the local agencies carried any immediate penalties, with EBMUD opting for an educational campaign. The SFPUC is set to discuss possible penalties at a meeting later this month.

In addition, Gov. Jerry Brown has asked all Californians to make a voluntary 20 percent reduction in water use but EBMUD and the SFPUC have each only asked customers for a 10 percent reduction.

J.L.G. August 16, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Oh S- – – there goes my lawns.

Anon August 16, 2014 at 5:22 PM

This is all BS! Why are new homes still being built if the existing homes are now required to comply with restrictions? Two words, F$%^ING GREED!

And GD Brown, and all the rest!

Killjoy August 16, 2014 at 5:33 PM

So when do we cut off LA from stealing all of our precious water???????

The government controls the water August 16, 2014 at 5:59 PM

There will be enough for whoever the government favors, the rest of the people will suffer.

The government can act quickly to establish rules and regulations of control and punish the people. Takes the government for ever to do what the people demand. We the people need far better representation.

The Great State of California, where punishing and controlling its people is the first priority.

@Killjoy August 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

>> … stealing all of our precious water???????

And just where do you think OUR water comes from?
Hint: it didn’t fall in our county.

I stink August 16, 2014 at 6:42 PM

I already bathe in 1/4 inch of water.. wash my hair once or twice a week and never clean anymore. I cannot cut back any further and will sue if my newly planted garden dies. It’s going to rain all winter, so knock it off greedy people!

Always Right August 16, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Don’t worry. None of these supposed mandatory restrictions will be enforced.

Remember, we are in a state run by democrats, who can’t enforce anything and have exemptions for everything.

@I stink, #6-----It will rain all winter? Like it did LAST winter? August 16, 2014 at 7:06 PM

A drought isn’t merely the lack of water during the summer months; it reflects the lack of rainfall/snowfall during the past and previous winter months, resulting in less water storage and declining snowpack, which means less runoff. We’ve been using more water than we have “stored” on the surface, and are now depleting the aquifers, below the surface.

pessimist August 16, 2014 at 7:08 PM


you’re not supposed to pee in the rivers or water reservoirs. why?? don’t burs poopbin tge water all the time?

isn’t river water treated first to make it potable? if not why did my guarduan yell at me for drinking river water on the way home when i was 9,

pessimist August 16, 2014 at 7:10 PM

“don’t birds poop in the water all the time?”

so why can’t we pee in tge water or dump oil in it?

Killjoy August 16, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Have you ever bothered to look at the “California Aquaduct”?
It funnels all the water from Northern California to Southern California.
As if it’s our fault they chose to live in a desert?

Killjoy August 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Pardon my spelling. “California Aqueduct”!

Marissa August 16, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Bird poop is natural, processed oil isn’t.

Always Right August 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

@killjoy – don’t blame the southerners for being smart about water. Actually, they are benefiting from prudent resource managers last century ( back when Republicans had a voice in decision making.)

LA gets water from the California aqueduct (west of the Sierra) Owens Valley ( east of the Sierra) ,the Colorado river, and large underground aquifers charged during years of heavy rain. They have a better diversity of supply than we do. Don’t blame them for the mess the northern progressive/liberals have gotten us into.

TinFoiler August 16, 2014 at 8:51 PM

All Bullsh!t.
Oh, can I use bottled water for that decorative fountain, LOL & where does that water come from????

BFD August 16, 2014 at 9:05 PM

I e-mailed CCWD & reported a broken water pipe that’s leaking a stream of water down a hillside in Concord 24 -7 & they still haven’t done anything about it. If they don’t care , why should I?

Teacher Wannabe August 16, 2014 at 9:59 PM

While we’re cutting back where we can, letting lawns and gardens go brown, etc. why are all the freakin’ golf courses green? Close half of them &/or make THEM cut back. That would save tons of water. And if you believe their claim they use grey water (or whatever its called), I’ve got a bridged I’d like to sell.

Ridgewalker August 16, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Greenest lawns in Claycord are the mini mansions up off of the Northgate Road to Mt. Diablo. Fountains galore. The 1%

Mother Nature August 16, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Just as I have dried up the State with a drought, I will once again give you El Nino and reek havoc with non stop rains and flood you into oblivion.
Natures little joke, so hold tight and don’t worry!

Water wars again August 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM

The rationing is unreasonable. So I use as little as possible, drive a filthy car, and have a fire hazard dry lawn. My neighbor still fills their pool regularly. Did you see any mention of this?

Drive to Alamo, or Danville. There are lush lawns and landscaping everywhere. Oh, and those golf courses. Biggest waste of water anywhere. Oh the liberals won’t let anyone build a dam, or another reservoir.

And who counts the people in the home? We have five, the neighbor lives alone. IS THIS PER PERSON? Last time, they cut your past usage by a percentage..so this year, we’re using normal water, and if they ration it..we will be cut back to a reasonable level.

This is just like the fireplace police. The laws are unenforceable, and are applied unequally.

All that said, we DO conserve, don’t always flush, and the grass is dead.

Elwood August 16, 2014 at 11:27 PM

The State Water Resources Control Board can stuff it.

I had the misfortune to observe that dysfunctional organization in action for several years.

They couldn’t regulate the water supply for a church picnic.

Marissa August 17, 2014 at 12:04 AM

yes it’s pretty sad…my vegetables are still blooming. I was in a friend’s garden and I saw such sad fruit it almost made me cry. I am fortunate my tomatoes are thriving through this drought.

Marissa August 17, 2014 at 12:21 AM

yes I use the minimal allotted allowed on my garden. If la can have pools, i can have a damn garden, although my lawns look like crap.

Eddy Deezen August 17, 2014 at 12:43 AM

According to the 2013 Census there are 13,790,495 housing units in California . If even just half of those housing units have just one bird bath in the yard (holding a mere 1/2 gallon of water) that would account for approximately 3,500,000 gallons of water wasted on little birds washing their wing pits. Where does the madness end?!

Anon August 17, 2014 at 12:52 AM

It is interesting I don’t recall the list of prohibited things including a pool. Must be those losers in LA. I agree with Marissa, and I still think that any new construction should end until the so called drought is over.

Marissa August 17, 2014 at 1:03 AM

Anon, if you recall, the reason why waterways are being maneuvered to southern california is because they have no immediate resources. The biggest item which has drawn the most controversy is the fact that those in southern california with the greatest amount of financial resources use the water to fill their pools…..am I missing something here?

Greener Pastures August 17, 2014 at 5:39 AM

I wonder how long it will be before all the golf courses aka country clubs lawns will be taking a hit like the public?
When these greens take and turn brown, then we will know for sure this is real.
Does that make sense?

Silva August 17, 2014 at 5:44 AM

History so often repeats itself. Back in the last major drought (70’s) they showed video of people in LA washing their cars with abandon, watering lawns in the middle of the day while rivers of our water flowed freely in gutters daily on the news. There was again talk of dividing California up into two states, Northern and Southern. People were up in arms about not issuing any more building permits, people were outraged that more dams hadn’t been built. Then the rains came and all was forgotten.

Hopefully the Governor’s scheme for massive tunnels carrying our delta water south will not be let loose on us.

pessimist August 17, 2014 at 6:56 AM

thanks marissa for your help. they drained a water reservoir a few months ago because a boy peed in it. if birds poop in it as well, why bother? also they put a port-a-pottie at the el sovrante library because too many homeless were peeing in the river next door. why? isn’t human waste natural. and isn’t the water treated anyway before ebmud transports it to us?

Atticus Thraxx August 17, 2014 at 8:08 AM

So now people with pools are evil? I pay my bill, bite me.

Ancient Mariner August 17, 2014 at 8:13 AM

It doesn’t say you can’t water your lawn.
It says you can’t have water running off the lawn.
In other words, water the lawn, but don’t over-water it.

never stopped conserving... August 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

During the last drought they asked us to conserve, and we did. Shorter showers, smarter clothes washing, and we gave up the lawn. We never gave up those low-water behaviors. We’ve been in drought mode ever since.

In the wealthy areas, Lamorinda, Alamo, Danville, it is common for a single family dwelling to have landscaping water consumption equivalent to that of my entire street.

Theyellowranger August 17, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Our family tries our best to conserve, even in non-drought years. We grew up in the 80s, during the last big one and never forgot the rationing practices. However, I will keep my lawn green, it’s really not that much water, especially when you use the proper sprinklers on a timer. Worked too hard my whole life to be embarrassed of my front yard.

Smoke & Mirrors August 17, 2014 at 9:42 AM

You got it #4. They never let a good crisis go to waste.

Shulla August 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Divide the State in two. Southern CA can then own their lack of water storage/distribution and their lack of border control.

SKS August 17, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Rate hikes are eminent based on the hysteria…. wait for it.

Some things never change August 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I lived in So. CA in the mid 60’s. Same problems same arguments, same suggested solutions. Nothing gets done. Money is spent, there is a lot of talk, politicians get rich and the people continue to be the lowest item on the priority list.

After 60 years one would think someone would have found a solution. But then again, this state is run by modern progressives.

It would be laughable if it were not so darn sad.

Ph res August 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Does anyone have a well? How much does it cost to dig, and run? My parents live in Northern California and they have always used well water. They have never had to pay for their water and it tastes amazing. Nothing like the nasty delta water. Just wondering if anyone installed a well in our semi-urban area, and would care to offer advice.

the Shi ite August 17, 2014 at 12:25 PM

My impression was that it is expensive to drill a well & you might have to go down farther than expected. Anyone?

@PH res August 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

When I bought my home, the well had already been drilled, as were most of the homes in this project. Most people have filled in the wells. People used to have water softener tanks along side their wells and use the well water for home water, that was outlawed.

My well had a Sears water pump, very small, was great for a hose and a sprinkler. If it was 10psi I would be surprised.

I later read up on water pumps and bought a pump and pressure tank, all in all about $900. Water is at 16′ here, bottoming out at about 20′ in my neighborhood.

There is a company off Monument that does wells, guy knows his stuff. He could give you an estimate.

The government plans to regulate aquifers in the near future. I suspect those of us with wells will soon have to tear them out to meet new government regulations on water usage. But I can’t complain, no one I voter for has ever made it into office.

busted knuckle August 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Let’s not forget that the feds dumped millions of gallons of water from Folsom and Shasta just to protect a smelt. Didn’t wait to see if it was going to rain just went by the chart like good little government robots.

Concord res August 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM

What no one mentions here is that residential water usage is a small fraction of commercial usage and we are the ones that are penalized and pay for it. How will these new restrictions be enforced? It will be my neighbors ratting on me for having a tiny yet green front lawn (my backyard is dead grass and dirt) like the other comment. I cannot stand having a dumpy front yard.

@#32 August 17, 2014 at 4:38 PM

I live in a pretty wealthy area and we’re very frugal with water. So are my neighbors. Where are you getting your data that single family homes in wealthy areas are using as much water as entire streets in non – wealthy areas?

#40, you have water only 16′ down during this drought? That’s a good producing well. Awesome, good for you.

@Concord res August 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

You are so very correct.

The people are the easiest for the government to manipulate. Business and industry have “friends” in government who grant them favors. The tree hugger’s have a huge voice in this one party form of government.

So that leaves the people, the citizens, the tax payers, the voters, who have no say in just about everything and take the brunt of frustrated bureaucrats wrath and punishment.

me August 17, 2014 at 7:56 PM

drink more beer, save the water
new construction, no pools allowed, no lawns
change your landscape to drought resistant. its dead anyways, great time to do it.
my neighbor over waters and has run off. instead of complaining I dug a hole, put a pump in it and steal his water for my use. recycling I call it.

LazyK August 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM

So I can water my lawn for one hour twice a week, not 10 minutes 6 days a week?

@LazyK August 18, 2014 at 11:31 AM

If you water your lawn longer, the water goes deeper and so do the roots of the grass Once the roots have established deeply into the soil, you don’t need to water as often.

Also, water evaporates much quicker closer to the surface.

The roots stay toward the surface when you just give it a brief soak, and thus dies easier.

jtkatec @ 38 August 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I live in the North Concord area and all the houses in my area had wells when built. The water level is around 15 feet down.

Some days the water is quite stinky but it’s free, with the exception of the power to run the pump.

Before the well and pum were reworked, I was spending about $100 a month on the domestic water for the yard. Now the water bill is around $30 a month, as the well takes care of the landscaping..

jtkatec August 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Recasing the well, new pump and new electrical to pump cost around $500.

TinFoiler August 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

What Drought? The Media has perpetuated “The Ice Bucket Challenge” Baloney and all of the Wankers are following along like good little sheep…….

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