California drought worsening: New water restrictions carry penalty of up to $500

As California imposed its first-ever statewide rules to punish water wasters, a new survey showed why state officials say the drastic measures are needed: Californians increased their water use amid the worst drought in decades.


2014-01-23T19:25:06+00:00
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As California imposed its first-ever statewide rules to punish water wasters, a new survey showed why state officials say the drastic measures are needed: Californians increased their water use amid the worst drought in decades.

The new rules, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on a 4-0 vote, impose new restrictions on outdoor water use starting Aug. 1 that could result in fines of up to $500 per violation. Gov. Jerry Brown in January asked Californians to slash their water use by 20 percent. But a new state survey released Tuesday showed that water use in May rose by 1 percent this year, compared with a 2011-2013 May average.

The survey of 267 water providers by the water board found that water consumption in the Bay Area dropped 5 percent. But in coastal California, south of Santa Barbara, consumption rose 8 percent. "California is in the worst drought we've seen in our grandparents' generation or beyond," said Felicia Marcus, the water board's chairwoman. "Fields are going fallow. Thousands of people are going to be out of work. Some communities are out of water -- they're bathing out of buckets, and water trucks are coming in to help them.

"But many parts of California don't seem to realize how bad it is," she said, "because they are so far away from their source of water. We are all in this together, and this is not a time to waste water."

The new rules ban washing cars without a nozzle on a hose;

watering driveways or sidewalks;

using potable water in ornamental fountains;

and over-watering landscaping so that water runs off into roads and adjacent properties.

Recycled water is exempt.

Under the new statewide rules, any agency that does not impose mandatory conservation measures could be subject to state fines of up to $10,000 a day. But it remained unclear Tuesday whether local agencies will be able to keep in place rules that don't include enforcement or penalties.

More than 60 percent of a regular residential home's water usage goes to lawns, to fight the drought effectively, changing real greens to artificial grass or other low water

requiring plantation becomes almost imminent. Synthetic grass company, Global Syn-Turf, Inc. offers more than 50 different type of artificial grass products with distribution centers throughout California: From Sacramento to Fresno to San Francisco Bay Area to Greater Los Angeles, you will be able to find their wonderful product to fit your preference.

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Water sprinkler, car in water, California water fines

Despite the dry winter, California State Water Resources Control Board and cities representatives support the state water regulators in Sacramento to fine residents up to $500 per water violation. Orginal water rules were set on a temporary basis during the California drought 2014-2017 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Now, according to the water conservation portal, it will, most likely, become a permanent Califonia law.


California drought. Brown bald lawn in Bay Area.

Despite the drought officially ended by Gov. Jerry Brown, Mediterranean climate in major parts of California remains the same. Water demands in warm, hot, dry summers and mild, moderately wet winters always exceed the water resources. A five-year drought raised concerns. It costs the state economy billions of dollars. It stressed forests and left more than 100 million dead trees behind. But the effects are far more deadly than anyone could imagine.


California drought green grass dry soil landscape alternative landscape cracks land

California doesn't look green anymore. In the historic state of drought, Californian lawns are now on the edge of extinction. Homeowners and communities are continuously looking for alternatives and the artificial grass looks more and more attractive.


The "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has his own idea of how to solve the California Drought issue.

"First, as you know, California goes through historic unprecedented dry spell. " - says Jon Stewart at Thursday's Daily Show. "We are talking about original movie ideas. BOOM! Take that Jurassic world. Hey, what if they build another dinosaur theme park, but this time things also went horribly wrong."


As a drought becomes a major concern in California, the idea of replacing old lawns with artificial grass becomes more and more attractive to home and business owners. In the interview with Ken Wayne, Fox News, San Francisco, Jim Luthi, the homeowner of Newark, confessed he has bit the bullet and replace the sod with artificial turf: "Thirty something years of having droughts on and off. "

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