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Climate and Environment

California Is Considering Emergency Water Use Rules To Stem The Drought

Edges of a creek bed are very dry and cracked. The creek's water level is low.
Low water levels at the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino
(Justin Sullivan
Getty Images)
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As the state's drought emergency continues, Californians could soon face fines of up to $500 a day.

That's if proposed emergency rules are approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on Jan. 4.

Businesses and homeowners could get dinged for hosing down driveways and sidewalks, watering lawns and landscapes enough to cause runoff, or even watering within two days after it rains.

Board chair E. Joaquin Esquivel says it shouldn't take much effort to save water.

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“Small changes, particularly in outdoor irrigation can really make real differences, and easily meet some of these — not just current targets that we're trying to set — but really, the long term efficiency of our homes, and our communities that reflect the climate reality we all now live in,” Esquivel said.

The board will accept public comment on those rules through noon on Thursday, Dec. 23.

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