BEVERLY HILLS—State regulators are penalizing Beverly Hills and other water suppliers for exceeding water conservation ordinances.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Indio, Redlands and Coachella Water Valley District, as well as Beverly Hills, were each issued a $61,000 penalty for failing to conserve the mandated amount of water.
According to reports, State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said that from June through August, California residents and businesses have saved 253 billion gallons of water. These savings met California’s goal, set by water boards and Governor Jerry Brown, of cutting back on water usage by 25 percent of that used in 2013.
Cris Carrigan, director of the water board’s Office of Enforcement, praised those districts who met water standards, but stated, “for those who aren’t and who are wasting water, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Beverly Hills spokeswoman Cheryl Friedling said that programs to impose penalties on customers who waste water have only started this month, and that the city will hire more staff to investigate violations and, if necessary, to put customers on “personalized conservation programs,” according to reports.
This year saw California’s worst drought in history. California-born writer Joan Didion wrote in her essay “Holy Water,” “Some of us who live in arid parts of the world think about water with a reverence others might find excessive… It is easy to forget that the only natural force over which we have any control out here is water.”
Water as a theme and plot point features heavily in all kinds of California-based fiction, from Roman Polanksi’s 1970s tribute to film noir, “Chinatown” starring Jack Nicholson, to the heady California novels of postmodern author Thomas Pynchon.
The state’s water landscape is complex, and if the drought continues, many of California’s native fresh water fishes are at serious risk of extinction. According to recent reports, Californians have cut water use statewide by 26 percent in September.
Beverly Hills, as well as other districts, have means by which residents can report water waste.