L.A. Water Use Plunges a Record 9% as Unprecedented Water Restrictions Bring Savings

Damon Ayala peered at a wet patch of sidewalk on South Tremaine Avenue on a recent Wednesday and clicked his pen.

“No one should be watering today,” he said. “That’s evidence of a watering today. They’re going to get an information letter from me.”

Ayala is a member of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s water conservation response unit, and he spends his days patrolling the streets of L.A. looking for homes and businesses in violation of the new drought rules.

In This SF Bay Area County, You Can Rat on Water Wasters Who May Face Fines Up to $10,000

It’s a sign the drought is worsening: One of the largest water districts in the San Francisco Bay Area became the first in the state on Wednesday to introduce a program to fine water wasters who ignore repeated warnings.

Santa Clara Valley Water customers could face fines, as little as $100 and as high as $10,000 in the most extreme cases, for not following rules aimed at reducing outdoor water use.

California Drought: Water Wasters Could Face Fines of Up to $10,000 in Santa Clara County Under New Rules

Residents in Santa Clara County could face fines of up to $500 — and in extreme cases, $10,000 — for wasting water, under new drought rules approved Tuesday afternoon that are among the toughest of any urban area in California.

Citing the worsening drought, dwindling local water supplies and residents’ failure to hit conservation targets, the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, a government agency based in San Jose that serves as the wholesale water provider to 2 million residents, voted unanimously to set up an enforcement program to warn, and then fine, property owners who are violating outdoor watering rules.