WOODLAND (CBS13) — City leaders in Woodland want to cite residents for using too much water amid California’s drought, and it could go as far as criminal charges.

Woodland homeowner Donna Reed shows how she’s been cutting back on water use for years.

“Basically everything I have out here doesn’t need a lot of water,” she says, showing off her pridefully brown lawn.

Only a small sprinkler keeps her lawn alive, so you’d think she’d be fine learning Woodland city leaders are discussing harsher penalties for water wasters, but she’s not.

“My concern is that I’m already being water-conscious,” she said.

The City Council will discuss new conservation stages, and clarify that people who do not follow mandatory water reductions could face criminal citations and even liens on the property and violations on the property title.

“It’s not fair to tell me I have to cut back 20 percent when I’m already cutting back in general,” she said.

Greg Meyer is the director of Woodland Public Works and says the city has always had the enforcement abilities, but is simply clarifying the law as the state continues to be in a drought. He says low-water usage account holders like Reed won’t be affected.

“The criminalization is intended to go after people that are stealing water, illicit connections or doing something that they refuse to cease and desist,” he said.

Meyer says if mandatory water restrictions are imposed, water bills would be reviewed, but account holders would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

For Reed, she thinks it comes down to something else.

“I think it’s probably just education, that people understand what is at stake,” she said.


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