A major water wholesaler on Tuesday added $350 million to its budget to replenish a cash-for-grass program that has gained popularity during the California drought with homeowners, landlords and businesses looking to replace water-draining lawns.
Five local municipal water suppliers are currently awaiting the response from the State Water Resources Control Board that will determine whether they will be granted a low monthly water conservation quota or be hit by cuts up to seven times that amount.
Citing heavy demand for fake turf and other drought-tolerant landscaping, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is considering a $350-million increase in the money it spends on conservation rebate programs.
California is getting about $33 million in federal money for water recycling, irrigation improvements and other conservation projects in a new round of funding for water and energy efficiency projects in Western states.
California’s drought is a powerful reminder of the vulnerability and precious nature of our water resources. To become more responsible with water usage and waste, a few apps can help people learn about and reduce their water consumption.
Nearly 1 million Silicon Valley residents will face strict water quotas — and pricey premiums for going over — under what will soon be the Bay Area’s most far-reaching rationing plan in four years of drought.
Modesto is stepping up its enforcement of its drought restrictions by sending water cops out in the early morning to check for homeowners, businesses and others watering their lawns and other landscaping when they shouldn’t or wasting water because of malfunctioning sprinklers.
An overwhelming majority of Californians believe the state’s drought is extremely serious and support Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandatory new water conservation rules, according to a new statewide poll released Tuesday.
The homeowner and securities specialist paid huge water bills under the steep tiers recently declared illegal by the 4th District Court of Appeal, and he recently filed a claim in Orange County Superior Court to try to recoup the thousands he once thought were gone for good.
Nearly two-thirds of Californians support mandatory water restrictions ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown amid the state’s historic drought, though many fear it will be hard to cut back and think farmers can do more to conserve, according to a new Field Poll.
In addition to calling for an overall 25 percent reduction in urban water use, Governor [Jerry] Brown also announced plans for a statewide incentive program to replace appliances like inefficient clothes washers. While people commonly think of toilets and faucets (and even showers) as the greatest users of water indoors, older top-loading clothes washers—found in more than 4 million homes in California—are water guzzlers.
Several years ago, Glendale restricted fake grass to residential backyards, where they were out of sight from the street. … But with the drought entering its fourth year, the city is considered lifting the ban as a way to conserve water.
It started with a few ticked-off residents of the Orange County town of San Juan Capistrano. The city was charging them too much for water, they argued, in violation of the California Constitution, courtesy of Proposition 218, a taxpayer-revolt law passed in 1996.
The water rationing plan, unveiled late Monday by the San Jose Water Company, will make San Jose the largest city in California so far to embrace strict rationing as the drought drags into its fourth year.
The drought shaming started at the top last month, when Gov. Jerry Brown, announcing water restrictions from a barren meadow in the Sierra Nevada, mocked “the idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day.”
Last month, after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered Californians to cut back their water use, a retired engineering professor in Carmel revived a decades-old proposal for easing the drought: icebergs. … The suggestion was dutifully filed away in a database of drought-relief ideas sent from around the state and nation, compiled since the beginning of last year.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that critics of his twin tunnels water diversion plan should “shut up” until they spend more time studying it, defending the project and strict water conservation rules as California grapples with a fourth year of drought.
With hot summer months around the corner and new conservation rules taking effect, Gov. Jerry Brown and other officials Wednesday called on Californians again to radically cut their water use in cities and towns to cope with the drought.
Last month, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Mission Springs Water District, which serves Desert Hot Springs, Whitewater and several unincorporated Riverside County communities, to cut its water usage by 32 percent. … Mission Springs has appealed the order, arguing that it doesn’t account for the significant cuts its users have made in the past few years.
For Californians with traditional water meters, conservation is more or less a guessing game as they await their monthly bill detailing usage. But some utilities have done away with the guesswork by installing smart meters, which provide customers with real-time consumption data.
When California’s State Water Resources Control Board announced last month that it was basing its orders for mandatory water cutbacks on each community’s per capita water use, it elevated a somewhat obscure figure into the spotlight: residential gallons of water used per person per day.
The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to its draft emergency regulations to restrict overall potable urban water usage across the state by 25 percent. The revisions, released late Tuesday, include language clarifications and changes to certain provisions.
California businesses and residents that waste the most water as the state copes with a drought should face $10,000 fines, Gov. Jerry Brown said, as his administration rejected calls from cities to relax its mandatory water conservation targets.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday pledged to give municipalities new power to penalize water wasters — by creating fines of up to $10,000 for the worst violations — while also promising to fast-track reviews of local water supply projects.
A revised draft of water conservation regulations released Tuesday night by the State Water Resources Control Board offered little reprieve to Sacramento-area communities that had pushed back against mandated cutbacks of up to 36 percent.
[Gov. Jerry] Brown said he will empower communities to reach their target, with legislation that allows them to crack down harder on residents and business in violation of state and local water restrictions by imposing $10,000 penalties, while deputizing more people to hit the streets and issue fines.
State water regulators are set to release on Tuesday an updated plan for conservation during the drought after their previous water-use reduction targets have come under fire from some local water departments.
South Tahoe Public Utilities District’s (STPUD) hope to have mandatory water reductions reduced drowned on April 17 when the State Water Resources Control Board released revised numbers of California’s water districts.
The fierce drought that is gripping the West — and the imminent prospect of rationing and steep water price increases in California — is sharpening the deep economic divide in this state, illustrating parallel worlds in which wealthy communities guzzle water as poorer neighbors conserve by necessity.
The drying power of a four-year drought is steadily shifting day-to-day expectations, challenging traditional norms, breaking apart business and social conventions, and compelling people in Santa Barbara and across California to confront new ecological conditions so powerful that behaviors thought completely normal and acceptable are now starting to be viewed much differently.
The court held that since Proposition 218 prohibits charging more for a service than it costs to provide, the policy of charging higher rates to users of more water was unconstitutional. … But a careful reading offers an opening to continue conservation incentives if agencies carefully justify them.
With California ravaged by an epic drought, state-run facilities collectively cut water use 22 percent last year, according to government data released Wednesday, although some departments used far more than in 2013.
In a tech-obsessed state that’s part desert, creating new technologies to save or clean water should be a no-brainer. … As water agencies scramble to make deep cuts after another dry winter, water tech may finally get its moment.
The decision, approved in a 3-2 vote, aligned with results of a recent [Soquel Creek Water] district phone survey of 300 customers, 90 percent of who said they were already doing everything they could to conserve water and who were less supportive of mandatory water rationing and penalties.
Gov. Jerry Brown is sticking to his statewide mandatory water conservation targets, his administration said Tuesday, even as a new appeals court ruling limits the ability of cities and water districts to hit people with punishing rates to encourage them to save water.
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the installation of water meters in each unit of newly constructed apartments. Democratic Senator Lois Wolk is author of the proposed legislation.
In a ruling that Gov. Jerry Brown says puts a “straitjacket” on local governments trying to fight the severe statewide drought, an appeals court has found that an Orange County city’s tiered water rates are unconstitutional. … It comes shortly after Brown issued drought orders that call for rates that encourage people to save water, including tiered pricing.
An appellate court Monday struck down a Southern California city’s method of charging water users based on a tiered-rate system, a potential setback to municipalities across a parched state laboring to curtail water consumption under Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent order.
The revised conservation mandates unveiled by state water regulators Saturday would require most Sacramento-area communities to make even bigger cuts in water use than originally proposed, disappointing area leaders who argue the state should take into account the region’s hot weather and large lot sizes.
Gov. Jerry Brown used an Earth Day celebration at Sonoma County’s Iron Horse Vineyards on Sunday to applaud California’s environmental leadership and reassure residents the state will survive its historic four-year drought by tapping its reservoirs of innovation and creativity.
In an acknowledgment that some areas have done a better job of conserving water during California’s severe, and worsening drought, state water officials on Saturday rolled out a revised water-reduction plan that eases required cutbacks for some communities while increasing mandatory targets for others.
As California inches closer to implementing its first mandatory statewide limits on water use, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday said he won’t relax the new rules following complaints from some cities that they’re too tough.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for mandatory water reductions is not sitting well with some Californians, particularly those in the crosshairs of a sweeping plan to make the state’s biggest guzzling communities trim the most. … The state plan is scheduled to be finalized Friday and adopted the first week of May.
The Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that focuses on water issues, released a report Wednesday that shows total water use in the United States declined over a period that ended before the current California drought began.
More than 200 letters leveling criticisms at a plan to force Californians to slash urban water use by 25% make it clear just how difficult it will be for regulators to enforce Gov. Jerry Brown’s unprecedented mandate.
The agency that typically provides Southern California with about half its water supply tightened the spigot Tuesday when its board voted to cut regional deliveries by 15%. … It follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s unprecedented order directing Californians to slash urban water use by 25% compared with 2013 levels.
In separate letters to the State Water Resources Control Board this week, water agency officials in Carmichael, Fair Oaks, West Sacramento and other suburbs argued that their customers already had made significant cuts in water use in the last decade and should not be forced to reduce consumption by 35 percent over 2013 usage.
Facing severe statewide drought — and a mandate from Gov. Jerry Brown — Southern California’s biggest water wholesaler gave preliminary endorsement to a 15 percent cut in water deliveries. … A motion for a deeper cut made by a representative from San Diego County’s main water supplier, the San Diego County Water Authority, was rejected.
Southern California’s water wholesaler Tuesday is poised to impose a 15% cut in water deliveries to local cities and water districts, a move that would bolster Gov. Jerry Brown’s aggressive statewide conservation effort in the fourth year of withering drought.
Californians are definitely getting creative, water-saving experts say. But if the state’s residents really knew where their main sources of waste were, they might not obsess so much over the small stuff.
He’s [San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer] among several leaders of California cities, including Los Angeles, proclaiming commitment to water conservation and vowing to move ahead of the state in slashing water use with initiatives including awareness programs, incentives and beefed-up enforcement with warning letters and fines.
Among the California water officials who were left reeling on Wednesday by the magnitude of the drought-related cutbacks they will have to make was Tom Gray, the general manager of the Fair Oaks Water District, outside Sacramento.
California’s water restrictions barreled ahead Wednesday with stringent new standards for all toilets, urinals and faucets sold in the state starting in 2016 — another sign that the Golden State’s drought situation truly is circling the drain.
For the first time in California’s history, we are faced with mandatory water use restrictions. After Gov. Jerry Brown made this announcement last week, the Fresno Bee Editorial Board asked on April 3, “Where is your long-term water plan, Gov. Brown?” In January of 2014, the governor released the California Water Action Plan — a five-year blueprint for California water infrastructure and policy.
Water wasters in Shasta Lake take note: the City Council has approved tripling fines for residents who use more than two-thirds the average household’s amount after federal officials slashed the town’s allocation to the minimum.
This is the summer that California’s relationship with water – often wasteful – will undergo permanent change. That was the message delivered Thursday by the state’s top water officials, days after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the first-ever mandatory statewide cutbacks in urban water use.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent executive order requiring a 25% cut in water use from 2013 levels has communities debating how best to achieve the target. It will probably require several weapons: more fines for chronic water wasters, education and more tiered pricing that makes heavy water users pay significantly more than light users.
A 25 percent cutback in urban water use – as Gov. Jerry Brown imposed last week – is less a hardship on California residents than an adjustment to a new reality. Droughts like the one gripping California now are inevitable, though climate change makes their frequency and severity unpredictable. We need to change the way we use water, especially outdoors, to cope now and into the future.
Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown stood in a bone-dry meadow to order historic water restrictions. On Wednesday, state officials took the drought battle into Californians’ kitchens and bathrooms, approving the nation’s most efficient standards for water appliances.
California officials on Tuesday released a plan for achieving a 25-percent statewide reduction in water use, proposing especially steep cuts of 35 percent in some areas that are heavy water users, including Palm Springs and much of the Coachella Valley.
California cities face mandatory targets to slash water use as much as 35 percent while regulators warn voluntary conservation hasn’t been enough in the face of a devastating drought. Underlining their point was data released Tuesday showing a new low in saving water.
California officials seeking to cut urban water use by 25 percent amid the punishing drought said Tuesday that the best way to get the job done is to spread the hurt unevenly, slapping the biggest guzzling communities with mandatory cuts up to 35 percent.
Californians in cities and towns across the state cut their water usage only slightly – 2.8 percent — during February compared with the same month in 2013, an indication that despite the severity of the drought, conservation is not taking hold.
As the state’s drought worsens, Californians are going backward on water conservation, and on Tuesday state water officials provided the first look at just how much each community will be required to save.
The State Water Resources Control Board’s plan, unveiled Tuesday, would place the heaviest conservation burden on cities and towns with the highest rates of per-capita water consumption, which would include small rural communities as well as affluent enclaves like Newport Beach and Beverly Hills.
Despite the drought, the lawns of Coachella will be as green as ever when thousands descend on the Empire Polo Club in Indio this Friday for the annual music festival. Those who manage the grounds say they’ve been trying to gradually reduce their water footprint while still keeping the polo club’s signature grassy spaces.
Look closely at the first-ever order for mandatory water cutbacks in California. Just beyond the nine paragraphs that start with “where as,” you find something San Joaquin Valley residents should notice about the 25% reduction in water use.
Determined to erase its spotty water conservation record, the wealthy coastal community of Newport Beach is among the communities that are preparing to crack down on water guzzlers and wasters in response to California’s worsening drought.
When Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the first-ever statewide water cuts last week, there was consternation across California, with folks everywhere wondering how they could ever chop their water use by 25 percent. But Brown’s executive order is no big deal to cities in Alameda County’s Tri-Valley area, where that fight went down a year ago.
The State Water Resources Control Board hopes to announce a preliminary framework by Tuesday that will outline how it plans to implement the historic mandatory water restrictions Gov. Jerry Brown ordered last week.
Faced with dwindling regional reserves and a fourth year of drought, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote next week to ration imported water that it supplies to 26 Southland water districts and cities, something the agency has done only twice before.
The California Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it has allocated emergency funding to continue to install smart sprinklers on state property in response to California’s protracted drought.
Curbing Californians’ passion for watering their lawns will be central to the campaign to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s demand for a 25 percent reduction in water consumption this year, state and local water officials said.
Welcome, central San Joaquin Valley residents, to new rules for surviving Drought 2015. Local cities are hustling to figure out how they’ll comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent executive order listing 31 drought-fighting mandates.
Gov. Jerry Brown mandated a 25 percent water reduction in California, but what that means won’t be clear until the state water board sets the rules in May. … Some local entities, such as Butte College, haven’t seen new rules stemming from the governor’s order, but have already taken steps to reduce usage.
The biggest mandated cutback on water use in California history is landing like a cold shower on park departments, cemetery owners, golfers, manicured-lawn lovers and others who appreciate the type of greenery that has essentially become an enemy of the state.
The Sierra snowpack is a ghastly one-fifth the size of the smallest one ever recorded in the mountain range, state leaders said Wednesday as California’s storm season ended in disappointment for the fourth straight year. … Gov. Jerry Brown, who watched a snow measurement Wednesday at Lake Tahoe, announced the state’s first mandatory water reductions, aiming at cutting water use by 25%.
Gary Whitlock watched water run down to the sidewalk as gardeners hosed down a bed of marigolds outside an Orange County office building and questioned if California’s latest attempt to curb water use would be any more successful than previous ones in the drought-stricken state.
Mr. [Gov. Jerry] Brown, in an executive order, directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year.
Standing in a dry brown meadow that typically would be buried in snow this time of year, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered the first mandatory water cutbacks in California history, a directive that will affect cities and towns statewide.
Standing in a brown field that would normally be smothered in several feet of snow, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered cities and towns across California to cut water use by 25% as part of a sweeping set of mandatory drought restrictions, the first in state history.
Wednesday night’s poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California suggests a growing sense of gloom and frustration across the state about the historic drought that’s now in its fourth straight year.
Fresno County Board of Supervisors declared a drought emergency Tuesday so it can obtain state and federal government reimbursement for local drought emergency costs. … The board also supported water restrictions in five unincorporated areas with about 400 customers.
In one of the most aggressive drought-spawned conservation goals in the Bay Area, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is proposing reducing water use by 30 percent and limiting watering of lawns to twice a week.
As California enters a fourth year of drought, 90% of Californians say they are willing to make significant changes to conserve water use both indoors and outdoors according to a new statewide poll commissioned by ACWA in partnership with Save Our Water.
Acknowledging that California’s water conservation efforts are falling short as the state descends into a fourth year of punishing drought, the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday imposed new mandatory water conservation rules that will affect millions of people — from how homeowners water their lawns to how restaurants and hotels serve their guests.
California regulators on Tuesday ordered every water agency in the state to restrict how often customers can water their landscaping, an unprecedented move that marks another milestone in the severe and ongoing drought.
With California heading into another parched year, state officials Tuesday beefed up emergency drought regulations, directing urban agencies to limit the number of days residents can water their yards.
The State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento will consider sweeping mandates on landscape irrigation Tuesday that could limit water usage for most California homes and businesses to only a few days of the week.
Amid the worst drought in at least a generation, and possibly the worst in modern California history, the state Water Resources Control Board today will consider tougher restrictions on outdoor watering by residential and business users. The action is long overdue.
The newly introduced iEfficient app is being used by 17 water districts in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It allows the user to take a photo and choose the offense from a drop-down menu; GPS automatically logs the location coordinates and routes the message to the correct agency.
California water regulators, alarmed by slack conservation three years into a crippling drought, took the unprecedented step last summer of establishing statewide restrictions and gave communities a hammer to enforce them … With no statewide data available, The Associated Press queried more than a dozen communities around the state and found wide disparities in enforcement.
State officials are considering additional modest regulations on water use – from prohibiting irrigation within 48 hours of rain to requiring districts to report their enforcement efforts – but water experts say the recommendations missed opportunities to address waste.
Surveys by the Department of Water Resources showed the snowpack across the entire mountain range at 19 percent of average for early March, a level deemed “alarmingly low” by officials. … On March 17, the State Water Board will consider extending emergency drought regulations and adding more stringent conservation measures.
California received a double dose of bad drought news on Tuesday, with state officials saying the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is far below normal and that residents again aren’t coming close to meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 20 percent cut in water use.
Water consumption statewide declined just 8.8 percent in January compared with the same month of 2013 – far below the state’s goal of 20 percent – according to data presented to the State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday.
In drought-ridden California, many water bills are calculated using a basic principle: The more water a customer uses, the higher the rate. It’s a strategy water districts employ to boost conservation.
In what could be a fourth year of drought, virtually all Californians say the state’s water situation is serious — but the majority still favors voluntary rather than mandatory restrictions, a new Field Poll released Thursday found.
Support for rationing swelled to more than a third of voters in the latest statewide Field Poll, a rise of 7 percentage points since last spring. … Pollsters also found growing concerns about water storage and supply facilities.
While residents’ efforts to conserve water are helping, officials say locals must continue such practices as a multi-year drought grips California and other western states with no immediate relief in sight.
California water agencies are on track to satisfy a state mandate to reduce water consumption 20 percent by 2020. But according to their own projections, that savings won’t be enough to keep up with population growth just a decade later.
A new web app from the Pacific Institute shows how different California cities are responding to the ongoing drought. This web feature brings to life newly-released data on residential and system-wide water use, and allows users to explore trends and patterns in that use.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday that he remains reluctant to impose mandatory water restrictions on Californians, saying the state is doing “pretty well” conserving water voluntarily as it enters a fourth year of drought.
A wet December resulted in Southern California’s biggest water savings – a whopping 23 percent compared with the year before – and helped the state meet its conservation goals for the first time since emergency measures were ordered last summer.
Southern Californians used 23 percent less water in December compared with the year before, the most water saved since the state declared a drought emergency last June, according to data released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Board.
Regulations passed by the State Water Resources Control Board last year required urban water suppliers to set mandatory conservation rules in their communities – and required those suppliers to report consumption data, to help illustrate how well the rules are working.
Californians had the opportunity to receive the message to save water at least five times apiece in 2014 when the Save Our campaign ramped into high gear due to the state’s drought, delivering water conservation messages on television, radio, social media, websites and even lawn signs.
For the first time since last June, when the State Water Resources Control Board required the 411 largest cities and water districts in California to issue monthly water use reports, residents of the Los Angeles and San Diego areas conserved more water than residents of the Bay Area: 23.2 percent vs. 21.6 percent.
December’s rains enabled Californians to finally meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 20 percent reduction in monthly water consumption, but more restrictions loom as the state adapts to long-term drought conditions.
The state’s monthly water-use report card due Tuesday will provide a look at how more than 400 local water agencies are doing when it comes to water conservation efforts across drought-stricken California.
With December’s deluge now a distant memory and a bone-dry, unseasonably warm January coming to a close, even a wet February and early spring likely won’t help the historic drought conditions affecting Monterey County and the rest of the state, according to a National Weather Service expert.
From New England to the Pacific, states across the country are taking new interest in the loss of drinking water from public water systems, and adopting sensible policies for communities to report and reduce these losses.
We learned last week that Santa Clarita Valley residents and businesses are doing well in the water-saving department, at least compared to numbers last fall, and that we’re doing better than most other communities in California.
A new report out of the State Water Resources Control Board found that despite calls from the governor to reduce water use by 20 percent, state residents are stuck at around 10 percent. And that’s looking at the numbers in a positive way.
A tractor rumbled over 2 acres of green turf last month at the MillerCoors brewery, its mechanical rake leaving wide swaths of thirsty grass chomped up in its wake. … For its water-saving efforts, the beer company is scheduled to receive a check for about $187,000 from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through the agency’s turf replacement rebate program.