Two of the Bay Area's highest-profile water agencies enacted their versions of "mandatory" water restrictions on Tuesday.
Customers of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission are facing an edict to cut outdoor water use by 10 percent. But as a practical matter, the order applies mainly to the Commission's 1,600 customers with separate metered water accounts for landscape irrigation -- golf courses, parks and the like. Those customers who fail to comply could see their water rates doubled. SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly called it, "a small, but important step."
San Francisco's water cops will rely on whistleblowers for broader enforcement. Customers with three reported violations could be fined $100 per day, but in general, SFPUC "will be focusing on education and training, not policing and fining," according to a Commission news release.
Spokesman Tyrone Jue says that after a slow start, SFPUC customers (in San Francisco and three other Bay Area counties) have tripled their water savings since late June and are on track to attain an overall 10 percent reduction benchmark by Labor Day. The latest restrictions don't take effect until mid-September.