State Water Board mulling unprecedented water restrictions

Jul 9, 2014 7:03 PM by Brian Johnson

The state of California is weighing whether to impose strict regulations on outdoor water usage, on both water users and suppliers.

Jason Gibbs kills bugs for a living. But right now, he's killing his lawn.

"[You] just gotta let it die," Gibbs said.
But in a conference call Wednesday, the Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, Felicia Marcus, said brown lawns mean a better California.

"I like to say having a dirty car and a browning law is a badge of honor," Marcus said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning. "You have a badge of honor because it shows you care about your fellow Californians and your community."

Under the authority of emergency regulation by Governor Brown, the board will hear from the public next Tuesday before deciding to adopt or reject strict mandatory restrictions on water users.

Marcus said the proposal may be the first of its kind on this scale, but are still minimum standards, saying Californians can and should do more.

"At a minimum, [that] people don't over-water," Marcus said. "People don't water sidewalks. That people don't let hoses run when they wash their car."

The proposal also includes strict mandatory restrictions on water suppliers.

It would ask them to step up their drought contingency plans to a level of mandatory outdoor irrigation restrictions.

And if they don't have a plan in place, it asks them to figure something else out to reduce water consumption, such as only allowing your customers to water outside two days a week.

The bottom line, Marcus said, is this:
"Everybody should do something. Every community should be doing something about outdoor irrigation as opposed to ignoring it."

If ignored, water users face up to $500 fines, while water suppliers face fines up to $10,000.

Butte County resident Louis Dodds isn't ignoring what the state is calling a "precarious situation."

"That's why I took out my lawn and took out the strip in the back for the dog," Dodds said. "I wash my clothes once a week, in the evenings, and my dishwasher goes in the evening, maybe once a week."

Back inside Chico city limits, Jason Gibbs' family got a brush-up on water conservation from his eight year old daughter.

"She was big on making sure we take quick showers, make sure the waters not going when your teeth brushing going," Gibbs said.

And like the creatures of mother-nature he sees cycle through the seasons, Gibbs sees the drought as part of a cycle too, one that will allow his grass to turn green once again.

For more information on how you can do your part to conserve water, click here.


Most Popular