California board considers hefty fines for water wasters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Drought conditions have California state regulators proposing hefty fines for people caught wasting water.

The regulations would prohibit overwatering lawns and landscaping, hosing down sidewalks or driveways, and washing cars without a hose that has a shutoff nozzle, and using drinking water in a fountain or decorative water feature unless the water is recirculated.

Violators could be fined up to $500 a day, though most cities are likely to have a sliding scale that starts with a warning and builds for repeat violations. Tickets could be written by any public employee empowered to enforce laws.

The State Water Resources Control Board will consider the new regulations next week. The board is scheduled to hold a public hearing in Sacramento on July 15.

If the rules are adopted, they would take effect immediately and remain in effect for nine months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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