After talking to 14 California mayors about the problem of water conservation during a meeting at the Capitol in Sacramento, California Governor Jerry Brown spoke about fines that could go up to $10,000 for companies and residents that waste most water.
His statements were recorded during a news conference that he attended on Tuesday, the 29th of April. These claims came after various Californian cities asked his administration to ease the compulsory water conservation targets, even if the whole state is dealing with drought. He obviously rejected such requests.
In their turn, Brown’s mandatory targets resulted from the skepticism that certain local water departments displayed related to his plan to save water.
During the same day, the State Water Resources Control board adjusted water preservation targets, lowering consumption by a maximum of 36%, in comparison to those set in 2013. Brown is also prompting state agencies to be more effective in analyzing and approving the best projects submitted to them which could help enhance water supplies.
However, representatives claimed that the delay in dealing with these projects is due to the current excessive regulation. This does not apply to the construction of reservoirs.
The mayors present at the meeting did not mention that they wanted steeper fines. Moreover, it was reported that quite few cities exercised the $ 500 fine imposed last summer on outdoor water wasters. Agencies are not necessarily eager to have a fine imposed on residents and businesses. They are rather convinced that educating citizens in this respect would be far more effective.
However, Brown mentioned that people needn’t worry too much about paying the fine unless they continually break the rules. Only the worst water wasters are targeted. He did not mention how far an offender should go to be fined $ 10,000. Furthermore, water departments, which currently do not have the authority to fine consumers will have the power to do so according to the new legislation.
In one of his statements, Brown said: “We’ve done a lot. We have a long way to go. So maybe you want to think of this as just another installment on a long enterprise to live with a changing climate and with a drought of uncertain duration.”
In a previous attempt, Brown had encouraged people to voluntarily save water, but, as this was not enough to reach the goal, he decided to reduce water use by 25 percent. Now he is about to cut more, as the board is supposed to vote on the new regulations that would help the governor reach his aims regarding water conservation.
These would prompt a reduction in water use by up to 36 percent. Some representatives of Californian cities say that these measures are possibly illegal and the goals are impossible to reach.
California has been facing the problem of drought for four years now. Last year, a state of emergency was declared by the governor.
Much money is going to be invested in water recycling as well, even if this is not an easy project.
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