Wasters of water, recalcitrant users in violation of Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought regulations, may be fined $10,000 if the governor’s new proposed legislation were enacted.
On Tuesday, April 28, he announced proposed legislation to help local officials better enforce conservation requirements. Besides the new big fine, the proposal also would allow both wholesale and retail water agencies, as well as city and county governments, the authority to issue these penalties.
Currently, fines for wasting water are limited to $500 per day. But after meeting with a group of local officials, Brown announced his intention to strengthen the law.
The proposal also would allow local public agencies to deputize staff to issue water conservation-related warnings and citations.
In addition, Brown also directed his Office of Planning and Research and other state agencies to help local water agencies reduce the time required to comply with state-required environmental reviews. These permit-streamlining efforts will focus on projects that can increase local water supplies with limited environmental impacts. The governor’s office also will explore legislative changes that can speed up delivery of critical water supply projects, according to a press release.
Also, the State Water Resources Control Board issued revised regulations for implementing the governor’s 25-percent conservation order.
Draft regulations were distributed in early April. More than 300 people submitted comments. The notice that proposed emergency regulations would be adopted was issued on April 28. This notice began a formal comment period that will conclude just prior to the State Water Board’s consideration of the proposed emergency regulation at its May meeting this week.