SAN FRANCISCO – California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the first mandatory, statewide water cutbacks by cities and towns as the state’s nearly 40 million people head into a fourth summer of severe drought.
Here’s a look at Brown’s plan for achieving an overall 25 per cent cut in water use:
The state can fine water agencies $10,000 a day if they fail to meet state targets for water conservation. State Water Resources Control Board head Felicia Marcus said the state will be will be working up other measures to go after water guzzlers.
“There will be enforcement,” Marcus promised.
The California Energy Commission will help oversee financial rewards for Californians who buy water-saving toilets and other appliances.
HIGHER WATER BILLS
Brown’s order mandates that water agencies look at changing rates to encourage saving water.
Eighty per cent of all water used by Californians goes for crops and livestock, but this round exempts farmers from mandatory conservation. Bigger farmers will be required to come up with water-management and drought-emergency-management plans.
LOSE THE LAWN
The governor wants California to lose 50 million square feet of water-guzzling lawn — an area about twice the size of Disneyland. The governor is prohibiting any irrigation with potable water on new homes that doesn’t involve drip systems or microspray. Golf courses will be required to cut back on use of treated water as well, among other measures targeting turf.