Meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate for statewide water conservation may require some cities — including Arcadia, Newport Beach, Yorba Linda and Glendora — to slash their water use by as much as 35 percent, state regulators said Tuesday.
Under proposed regulations unveiled Tuesday by officials with the State Water Board, cities and water agencies that have the highest per-capita water use in the state would have to make the highest level of cuts in their water use. The proposed regulations put agencies and cities into four categories, requiring them to make cuts of either 10, 20, 25 or 35 percent.
Cities that have low levels of per-capita water use would have to cut by 10 percent. Among those cities are Vernon and Seal Beach. Among the cities facing 20 percent cuts are Los Angeles, Compton, South Gate, Huntington Park, Santa Ana, Pomona, Santa Fe Springs, Fountain Valley, El Monte and Glendale.
Falling into the more severe 25 percent category are cities such as Manhattan Beach, San Clemente, Brea, San Fernando, Burbank, Pasadena, Fullerton and Tustin.
According to the state, 135 water suppliers would be required to cut use by 35 percent. Among them are South Pasadena, Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, Yorba Linda, Arcadia and Glendora.
Under the proposed regulations, the State Water Board “will assess suppliers’ compliance for both monthly and cumulative water usage reductions.”
Cities and agencies that fail to comply could receive anything ranging from a warning letter to a “cease-and-desist” order to fines up up to $10,000 “for each day of non-compliance,” according to the state.
The proposed regulations were released on the same day the state released figures showing that water conservation efforts in February had dropped to their lowest level since last July. According to the state, water use was reduced by just 2.8 percent when compared to the same month in 2013.
“I know many communities in the state stepped up since last summer and dramatically conserved water,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Board. “But not enough communities in the state have saved enough water.
“Beginning today, to assure their own water security as well as help others, communities should restrict outdoor irrigation to the bare minimum,” Marcus said. “If we dramatically stop water out-of-doors, we should be able to reduce water use by 25 percent or more in the next several months since an average of 50 percent of urban water use is used outdoors.”
— City News Service