California to Impose Outdoor Water Limits

In the face of worsening drought conditions, California water resources officials will consider emergency regulations on July 15 that would ban certain outdoor water uses and require water suppliers to impose mandatory limits on outdoor water use.

As proposed last week, the regulations would ban direct application of water to any hard surface for washing and watering of outdoor landscapes that cause runoff. Also prohibited would be using a hose without a shut-off nozzle to wash an automobile and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature unless the water is recirculated. Violations would be punishable by fines of $500 for each day of occurrence.

Urban water suppliers would have to implement Water Shortage Contingency Plans at a level that triggers mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use. Those without such a plan would have 30 days to require customers to limit outdoor irrigation to no more than two days per week or implement another mandatory conservation measure to achieve a comparable reduction by customers relative to the amount consumed in 2013.

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