County In California May Deploy ‘Water Cops’ To Crack Down On Residents Ignoring Newsom’s Conservation Plea

(Photo credit Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Chris Bertman Contributor
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Valley Water Board in Santa Clara County California proposed the creation of an enforcement program to fine those who waste water, according to a Wednesday statement.

“To help us achieve our goal, for the first time in our history Valley Water is considering adoption of an enforcement program that could fine those who waste water,” said Valley Water Board Chair Pro Tem John L. Varela in the press release. “We do not take this lightly, but we want everyone to know that we are in a very serious drought emergency, and we must all take immediate action to protect what little water we have.” (RELATED: Government Declares First Ever Water Shortage At Lake Mead Amid Historic Drought)

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested last July that Californians reduce water usage by 15% by taking shorter showers, watering their lawns less and fixing leaking pipes or faucets. New data reportedly shows Californians increasing their water consumption by 18.9% compared to March 2020, according to The Mercury News. Residents could see fines up to $500 for wasting water in Santa Clara County, according to the outlet.

The Valley Water Board is urging Californians to replace their lawns with drought-resistant landscape or allow their lawn turn brown by watering it less. The enforcement proposal would be in addition to existing restrictions on water retailers, though new measures would also restrict residents’ use of water outdoors with included fines for repeated violation.

Valley Water Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed enforcement of water conservation on May. 24.