California considering fining people up to $500 for wasting water

Watering your grass too long could cost you some big bucks.

California state regulators are considering issuing fines of up to $500 a day for repeat offenders.

Alex Rojas is the General Manager of the Central Basin Municipal Water District says adopting a Water Smart Lifestyle is crucially important in California.

"If it was a $50 fine people might just write it off as an expense and just keep doing what they're doing," Rojas stated.

"Unfortunately, the drought and climate change has created a new reality for water use in Southern California. As you know, we get our water from the ground, we get water from up north and we get water from the Colorado River, and so there is a tremendous amount of pressure on those three resources."

The State Water Resources Control Board is considering taking drastic measures.

If approved, the proposal prohibits watering the grass within two days of rain, washing the car without a shut-off nozzle and having water run off into the street or sidewalks.

Some California residents seem to be ok with the restrictions and the $500 dollar fines.

"You know, we have to be careful. Wasting water is tough, we have to pay attention to it all," said one SoCal resident.

"There’s a water shortage and people need to be considerate and water-wise as well," said another resident.

But other people say a potential $500 fine would be simply ridiculous.

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We’re in a drought? We’re in a COVID-19 problem! Badly very badly, water is the last thing on my mind."

"Yeah that’s a bit much, especially when people are struggling just to pay rent. It’s too much," said one person.

Rojas says the strategy is simply to encourage people to do the right thing and conserve water.

"This is not a traditional commodity, right? So this is water and in California, the state has declared a water a human right," Rojas added.

Rojas says 70% of our water usage is outdoors... that’s why some people are getting rid of their grass and replacing it with a drought tolerant landscape.

The proposal will go up for a vote on January 4th.

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