MAP: Which Californians Are Still Failing to Save Water?

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While the majority of Californians continued to save water in September, four water districts are being fined for failing to step up conservation efforts.

Water districts around the state have had to meet strict conservation goals for four months now. More than a quarter of them are falling short, but regulators singled out Beverly Hills, Indio, Redlands, and Coachella Valley Water District for failing to show a serious effort to cut water use.

“We could have saved even more water if some residents, businesses and institutions in these communities had stepped up the way their fellow Californians have,” said Cris Carrigan of the Office of Enforcement at the State Water Resources Control Board.

The districts each face a $61,000 fine and could be fined again in future months. Water board officials have the option of fining up to $10,000 a day if they decide the violations become more egregious.

Statewide, Californians saved 26.1 percent in September, lower than the 27 percent saved in August but still above the Governor’s goal of 25 percent.


Officials warn that water conservation is harder to achieve in the winter, when outdoor watering is at a low point.

They also warned that heavy El Niño rains are unlikely to solve California’s drought, because the water deficit is so large.

“El Niño is here,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Quality Resources Control Board. “We’re pretty sure we’re going to get Southern California rainfall, but we need it in Northern California where many of our large-scale reservoirs are.”