Written by T. Logan Dayne
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is now looking to fine citizens up to $500 per day after falling short on water usage. Mandatory restrictions are being adopted by state regulators as a drought remains in effect despite heavy rain and snow.
Between July and November of 2021, Newsom called for a 15% decrease in water usage as compared to the previous year. A move which seems like a continual decrease on how much water Californians are allowed to use. California had just come out of a 5 year drought ending in 2017 only to be greeted with another and more restrictions. It is of little surprise that the quota was not made as water usage declined only 6%. Newsom is no longer asking as he imposes new fines for any California citizens caught breaking his mandates. A fine of up to $500 per day if anyone is caught watering their lawn within 48 hours after it rains. This includes washing driveways, cars, sidewalks, buildings and patios, along with filling up any decorative fountains. State board officials are unsure how much water they’re expected to save with this move.
Many are worried that the reservoirs do not have enough as poor forest management in combination with extremely dry conditions in 2021 have left the California reservoirs at an all time low. Worries persist even after a December with much higher rain and snowfall than predicted. Climatologists still forecast that The first 3 months of the new year can still be much drier than average which justifies the continued push for these restrictions. The new mandates can take effect as early as the end of the month and the state is looking to local authorities to decide on enforcement.
Photo Cred: (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP