$500 fines for water-wasters in drought-stricken California?

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, July 10, 2014
$500 fines for water-wasters in California?
The State Water Resources Control Board will vote on a new plan Tuesday that, if approved, would fine water-wasters beginning August 1.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- The state of California wants to crack down on water-wasters and fine them big bucks. That means anyone who lets water run into the street, or anyone who washes their cars without a shut-off nozzle. It's an idea that's getting support.

The state plans to start handing out $500 tickets to water-wasters.

"We need to take some measures to conserve," said Riverside resident Abel Pazos.

If the plan is approved, you could soon get a ticket for over-watering lawns and landscaping, hosing down sidewalks or driveways, even washing your car without a shut-off nozzle on the hose.

John Shumate says he does it correctly, by washing his truck at a self-service facility. But he sees a lot of people who don't.

As for the threat of a $500 fine?

"I would think that would do it, I don't know if that's excessive or not, but it would make people stop and think twice," said Shumate.

The big question though: If these new fines are approved, who's going to enforce them?

An official with one local water district said they haven't had the so-called "water police" in years; it's something they're still evaluating.

The State Water Resources Control Board will vote on this new plan next Tuesday. If approved, water-wasters could be fined beginning August 1.