California Fines Four Urban Water Suppliers

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Beverly Hills residents ‘should be ashamed’ of fine for missing water saving targets.

LOS ANGELES ( — Figures released on Friday show residents have exceeded the water conservation mandate set by Gov. California officials Friday said they levied fines of $61,000 each against four urban water suppliers, including Beverly Hills, for failing to meet strict conservation standards, in the toughest enforcement yet of an order to cut water use statewide amid an historic drought.Beverly Hills and three other Southern California cities got slapped with fines Friday for not conserving enough water, marking a new phase in the state’s response to the historic drought. Redlands spokesman Carl Baker said the city learned of the fine late Thursday and said officials will seek direction on how to respond from the City Council on Tuesday. While announcing that the state overall met its monthly conservation goals in September, officials said Beverly Hills, Indio, Redlands and the Coachella Valley Water District missed their mandates by wide margins.

Here is Southern California, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers cut usage by 21.8 percent in September, compared to the same month in 2013. Each was fined $61,000, according to the State Water Resources Control Board, which regulates water usage in California. “They weren’t making a strong enough effort, and the customers in their districts were not responding to the effort that they were making,” said Cris Carrigan, the state board’s enforcement director, during a conference call with reporters. While Beverly Hills is the name-brand celebrity in the bunch, the others are far east of Los Angeles, and regional destinations for golf, and a music festival. We are thankful for all of the effort by individuals and agencies.” “Now, we need to keep it up as best we can even as we hope for as much rain and snow as we can safely handle,” Marcus added. “We’re in the position of having to prepare for drought and flooding at the same time, but that’s what we’re faced with.” (©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc.

Residents of the wealthy enclave – who have included past stars such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, as well as current celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Sylvester Stallone and Mark Wahlberg – have been asked to stop watering their lawns, fill their pools with less frequency, and switch from baths to showers. If their conservation efforts don’t improve in the coming months, Carrigan said the state could issue cease-and-desist orders and ramp up the penalties to $10,000 a day if those orders are violated. City officials said they plan to implement “additional programs” including new penalty charges, and hiring more staff to enforce water restrictiions.

State officials blamed local water managers and some customers for not doing more to conserve. “For those wasting water, they should be ashamed of themselves,” Mr. Monthly compliance figures released by the board Friday showed California water districts in September exceeded the governor’s overall goal of 25% cut in water use, as compared to a base period in 2013.

Yeah, definitely, but I think we’re in the ballpark.” The four agencies fined by the state Friday each faced high targets – and haven’t come close to meeting them since June. In all, Californians have saved nearly a million acre-feet since the conservation mandates—in effect through February 2016—were instituted in June. After four years of drought, Californians shouldn’t become complacent over forecasts of heavy El Nino rains this winter, said board chairwoman Felicia Marcus.

Nearly one-third of the state’s largest water agencies are not meeting cumulative water conservation targets, including four in the Sacramento region. The city of Folsom, the Carmichael Water District, the Placer County Water Agency and the Rio Linda-Elverta Community Water District have posted cumulative water savings for June through September below their mandated targets. Additionally, Californians are being asked to conserve amid reports of a strong El Niño, which forecasters say likely will produce more rain than normal for much of the state this year.

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