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County adopts state’s water-waster penalties

Posted: July 22, 2014 6:34 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2014 6:34 p.m.

With state officials looking to rein in water use in the midst of California’s crippling drought, county supervisors voted Tuesday to put those state regulations in place countywide.

Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously to adopt water conservation regulations imposed by the state Water Resources Control Board last week.

“Eighty percent of California is suffering from extreme drought conditions with no relief in sight,” said Supervisor Don Knabe, who introduced the motion to fellow supervisors. “As the largest employer in Los Angeles County, we maintain and operate over 5,000 buildings and facilities.

“We need to ensure our house is in order and not only do our part in our unincorporated areas, but also set an example for the 88 cities in the county,” he said in a statement.

Regulations adopted by the state Water Resources Control Board include a prohibition on watering landscaping in such a way that runoff spills onto sidewalks or streets; hosing down sidewalks, driveways or other hard surfaces; and washing vehicles without a shut-off nozzle.

Violations would be punishable by fines up to $500 a day.

“The county of Los Angeles can play an important role by reducing water use at its facilities and in assisting local water supply agencies in implementing the (State Water Resources Control Board) regulations,” reads the agenda report on the item.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Jan. 17 after a series of bone-dry years in the Golden State.
Though portions of the Santa Clarita Valley are unincorporated, most fall within the boundaries of local water retailers such as Valencia Water, Santa Clarita Water Division and Newhall County Water District.

Those agencies are preparing to formally adopt the water-conservation regulations within their boundaries, according to Steve Cole, the general manager of Newhall County Water District and the chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee.

“We’re going to be considering doing the same thing at an agency level, so we’re working on that right now through the staffs of basically all the water agencies in the valley,” he said.

One reason for that collaboration, according to Cole, “is to make sure whatever we do valleywide is consistent.”
Some portions of the Santa Clarita Valley receive water service from the Los Angeles County Waterworks District.

Those include portions of Val Verde and Acton.

There are roughly 1,343 service connections catering to an estimated population of 5,157 in Waterworks District No. 36 in Val Verde and 1,408 connections serving an estimated population of 6,499 in District No. 37 in Acton, according to information on the Los Angeles County Waterworks District website.

Edel Vizcarra, planning deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, said the county is also working with local water agencies to make sure the regulations are being put in place.

“We’ll work closely with water retailers to make sure that everybody’s on board,” Vizcarra said.
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