Just when you thought you were out of the reach of your local water purveyor’s water cops, things got a little more serious.
The new sheriff in town is the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). While it has been in charge of enforcing water rights throughout the state since it was formed in 1967, it has never gone after individual retail water customer usage. That changed this year.
In 2014, local retail water agencies were asked by Governor Brown to reduce water usage by 20%. And, the agencies were given the ability to fine water users for obvious waste. But, it didn’t happen. Most agencies were only able to reduce by a fraction of that. And, some actually used more water.
Now that the drought has extended into 2015, with no relief in sight, the Governor appointed the SWRCB as his sheriff to not only go after urban water waste but to actually compel urban Californians to squeeze even more use out of the state’s meager water supplies. Even though they have been trying (some harder than others) to reduce water use, residents are being required to cut back. That likely means brown lawns, shriveling shrubs, and communal showers (just kidding on that one, I think; this is California after all).
Since the SWRCB can’t be everywhere all the time, it has deputized the local retail agencies to go after excessive water use. That will mean something different for each locale, but everyone will be reducing use. You too, not just your neighbor.
Don’t be surprised if you eventually start seeing badges on those water cops. And, K9 units?