SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New numbers released by the State Water Resources Control Board show Californians only cut their water use by 8.6 percent in the last 9 months, a far cry from the 20 percent Gov. Jerry Brown called for last year.
There are no mincing words about how bad the drought is, and now cities will have to cut back water usage anywhere from 4 to 36 percent compared to 2013 usage.
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Tuesday was the last chance for cities and water districts to make their case to cut back less. All had different reasons, ranging from higher fire danger in state droughts and keeping lawns green near fire-prone areas.
The board listened to hours of discussion, but ultimately will order districts to enforce the new water restrictions by June.
The limited data on water restriction enforcement shows that Sacramento leads the way with 450 warnings issued and 51 penalties handed out.
While the water board has the power to hand down heavy fines to water districts that don’t cut back, they say it’s not likely to happen right away.