Sacramento Passes 20 Percent Water Reductions, Fines Up To $1,000

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento City Council passed far-reaching water restrictions forcing residents and businesses to cut usage by 20 percent.

The restrictions are effective immediately.

On another bone dry day, Lydia Corpora used as little water as possible. But she’s still breaking the rules just by washing her SUV on a weekday in the winter.

“I’m pretty good with my water, but I didn’t know that,” she said.

Sacramento residents and businesses are about to get very familiar with the toughest water restrictions in the city’s history.

New rules would restrict outdoor watering and require 20 to 30 percent cuts on water usage.

The department of utilities says it can’t actually monitor individual customers as less than half of Sacramento homes are metered.

Instead, they’re promising increase patrols and staffing from 6 to 18 people looking for the worst water waste.

“Looking for people watering on the wrong days, or watering more days a week than they should be,” engineering and water resources manager Bill Busath said.

The first offense is a warning. But after that, fines start at $25 and can climb as high as $1,000.

“The situation is serious; we want everybody to do everything they can,” Busath said.

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