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article imageCalifornia to be under revised mandates to restrict water usage

By Karen Graham     Apr 19, 2015 in Environment
Sacramento - California's State Water Resources Control Board on Saturday released a revised plan for the state's first-ever mandatory water cuts. The plan will entail putting the state's water agencies in a nine-tier bracket, based on consumption in 2014.
After many complaints and even more grumbling, the revised plan for California's enforcement of Governor Jerry Brown's executive order to reduce water consumption across the state by 25 percent by February 2016 is ready for his signature next month.
The drought that started in 2012 could go on for years, warned Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board. “All Californians have to step up and prepare as if it won’t rain or snow again next year," she added. But the revised plan is still going to meet opposition from many water agencies.
With the state in its fourth year of a severe drought, reservoirs and groundwater sources are being depleted. After a drier than normal winter, snow pack in the mountains measured only five percent of normal on April 1, a sure sign that reservoirs will be empty again this year.
The governor's executive order came about because of the failure of citizens to heed a voluntary request to conserve water last year. While some communities succeeded in reducing usage 20 percent, or even more, other communities failed to meet the reduction levels and even increased their usage.
The State Water Resources Control Board - How water is supplied
The new requirements will not be imposed on any one community or city, but will be imposed on the water supply companies that serve them. The State Water Resources Control Board is one of the six branches of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
The State Water Control Board coordinates with California's nine Regional Water Boards to ensure water quality across the state and to regulate water rights. Together, these entities are called the California Water Boards. These boards are responsible for seeing that the governor's executive order is carried out across the state.
As part of the nine-tier plan, there are no specific reductions for commercial, industrial, and institutional users served by urban and all other water suppliers across the state. The decision as to how water reductions will be applied to residential and non-residential users will be left to the water suppliers.
The California Water Boards are very serious about the need for conservation, and will begin checking monthly water usage reports beginning with the June 2015 reports on July 15, 2015. Failure to meet compliance goals monthly will result in a fine of $10,000 a day.
Some people are going to be hit hard by the new mandate
All the glitz and glitter of Beverly Hills will not make one iota of difference to those wealthy enough to live there. The residents have to contend with a 36 percent reduction in water usage, as does Arcadia, San Bernadino County, Coachella Valley, Modesto and Tahoe City.
Fresno, Burbank, and Sonoma must slash water use by 28 percent while Napa and Palo Alto only have to reduce their consumption by 24 percent. At the bottom of the tier are San Francisco and Santa Cruz, with just an eight percent reduction required. It should be noted that San Francisco voluntarily reduced water consumption 20 percent last year and succeeded in their effort, proving the reduction will work.
More about california drought, revised water regulations, water boards, ninetiered system, Water conservation
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