Drought prompts water regulations

Isabella Alioto

The entire state of California is still in a drought, despite recent rainfall in several areas. As a result, the California State Water Resources Control Board approved a law in July allowing water companies and local law enforcers to fine water wasters in California up to $500 per day.

The law was put in place to limit outdoor water use, and is made up of several restrictions, including a fine for each day that water is wasted outside.

According to NBC4 Los Angeles, the law makes it illegal to water lawns or plants at any time outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Additionally, watering any hard surfaces such as driveways or sidewalks is illegal, and hoses must have a shut-off nozzle.

The Marin Municipal Water District has suggested several ways to conserve water in Marin, including collecting rainwater for later use. They have also set up an online water watch showing the weekly water usage in Marin.

According to a 2011 study sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources and the Irvine Ranch Water District, 53 percent of total average household water usage is for outdoor purposes.

A recently released drought update, courtesy of the United States Drought Monitor, explains that even though a large percentage of the state is currently categorized as being in an “exceptional drought,” the worst status, the conditions in Marin are not quite as bad.

The majority of Marin County was classified as being in an “extreme drought,” while surrounding counties were said to be in an “exceptional drought,” a more severe categorization.

Currently, every California resident is living in an area categorized into one of five groups ranging from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought.”