Riverside County turns to water conservation during drought

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Riverside County Board of Supervisors met Monday to discuss new water conservation efforts as the state enters its fourth year of drought.

Local water agencies and their customers are under new state regulations and reduction mandates.

"Most of the agencies here in the Inland Empire, Riverside County had to do as much as 25 to 30 percent, so a very big chunk of water that we have to reduce," said John Rossi with the Western Municipal Water District.

One way the county is looking to reduce water consumption is with a landscape ordinance that would ban builders from installing lawns in new homes.

Riverside resident Mark Glaser has already torn out 7,000-square-feet of grass to make way for California-native landscaping.

He said his water bill went from $300 in the summer to just $100.

"It is nice to save water in California where it is such a precious resource," Glaser said.

He's not the only one ripping up turf. In Riverside, the city took steps to remove acres of grass from medians and replanting them with drought-tolerant shrubs, flowers and trees.

Some have just let their green lawns go.

"I cut a lot of my sprinklers," Perris resident Dalton Lyons said. "You can tell the grass is getting a little brown."

Eyewitness News is committed to helping you Beat the Drought, and we want to hear your ideas too! Join the Circle of Eyewitnesses and tell us what you're doing to save water. Share your pictures or video on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with #ABC7Drought.
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