Santa Clarita Valley Water Committee officials drafted a Water Action Plan expected to impact when lawns can be watered and how cars could be washed, officials said Thursday.
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The effort is necessary to comply with the state’s mandatory water restriction requirements because of the state’s prolonged drought conditions, but officials are still working out the details.
“The draft is a very good indication of what will be expected from residents,” said Dirk Marks, water resources manager for the Castaic Lake Water Agency, although he added some aspects, such as who’s in charge of enforcement of the rules, are still unclear.
The proposed statewide restrictions will take effect Friday, but because the state left it up to local agencies to enforce, the restrictions may not affect Santa Clarita Valley residents until the middle of August, officials said.
The draft of the Santa Clarita Valley water plan states it will be, “mandatory for residents and businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
If residents do not follow the specific water restrictions laid out in the Water Action Plan, they will be issued two written warnings, according to the proposed plan. “A fine of $50 per day for the first infraction and increase by $50 for each additional infraction up to the maximum $500 per day,” after the third notice.
Residents will be prohibited from hosing down driveways and sidewalks, may be forced to turn off their decorative water fountains and will not be allowed to wash their cars unless the hose is fitted with a nozzle that allows it to stop running when not in use, according to the proposal.
The plan lays out two “outdoor irrigation” frameworks, one for winter, and one for summer.
During the summer months, residents will be allowed to water their lawns three times a week, and those days will be given to each resident specifically.
In the winter months, watering days will be limited to only twice a week.
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Many residents expressed concern that the new watering schedule could affect their lawns, and they could subsequently be punished by their HOAs.
However, the state passed a law that prohibits homeowner associations from punishing a resident for scaling back on landscaping under an executive order signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April.
“The water suppliers will continue to assess water supply conditions in 2014 and 2015,” the plan states. “If water supply conditions continue to worsen, further actions may be necessary to ensure available water supplies for SCV residents and businesses.”
There will be a meeting on Tuesday with the Water Retail Committee, Marks said, and an Aug. 13 public hearing to discuss adoption of the plan.
Source: Santa Clarita News