Water-Wasters Elude Fines As Drought Persists

San Francisco Residents Asked to Reduce Water Usage by 10 Percent

By FENIT NIRAPPIL

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Local water departments are reluctant to crack down on water-wasters during the drought, even though the state is allowing $500 fines.

Californians from the coast to the desert aren’t allowed to hose down driveways or drench their lawns under state restrictions. But regulators aren’t tracking how the rules are enforced.

The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday will vote to add more restrictions and to start tracking enforcement.

The Associated Press found wide disparities in how cities ensure residents follow water rules.

Santa Cruz saw huge water savings while issuing more than $1.6 million in fines. Coachella hasn’t sent warning letters to houses with big water guzzling lawns in the desert.

And in a service area of nearly 4 million, Los Angeles only issued a pair of $200 fines.

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