Fines should start with greedy officials
I do believe California water violators should be fined -- much more than $500 a day -- but starting with our governor, state senators, city water companies and all statewide water regulators.
Where have these decision-makers been for decades in the dry Western states? Where are the plans and funds regarding desalination plants in the Bay Area?
Why did Carlsbad have the plans and money to build ¿its desalination plant, which is under construction right now? This plant will provide clean and safe water for all the San Diego areas.
What I find even more atrocious is new building permits given to developers and builders by cities wishing to add to their coffers, while recklessly ignoring the dire water conditions.
These permits should come to a screeching halt. No new building requiring more water must be allowed throughout California.
One El Niño winter won't provide the answers to several years of drought.
Not all residents have water meters
I do not believe those who violate mandatory water rationing should be fined up to $500 for several reasons.
Agriculture is consuming nearly three-quarters of the water supply. Many California residents don't have water meters. For example, only half of Sacramento's connections have meters. Some cities charge a flat rate, no matter how much water is used.
Legislators should, however, amend the law requiring installation of meters by 2025 in all California cities to a much sooner installation date.
I'm betting, however, that whenever it's done the state won't provide the money to public agencies to enforce the proposed regulations.
Fines not needed; we have plenty of water
Fines shouldn't be imposed for violation of mandatory water rationing.
We only use 52 percent of water runoff. The government takes 48 percent of runoff to protect fish. Starting 40 years ago, California stopped building reservoirs and increased endangered-species regulations for salmon, delta smelt, steelhead and other fish.
Commercial, industrial and 38 million residents use only 11 percent of our water, much less per capita than 40 years ago.
Agriculture uses less water, while producing much more food and fiber, than 40 years ago. It uses 41 percent of water runoff.
Government has been the water hog and increased its wasted use, now at 48 percent of total runoff. Yet, it won't build reservoirs or give us an extra drop.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District Pardee Reservoir, serving the East Bay, is 91 percent full. Hetch Hetchy, serving San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda and San Mateo counties, is 95 percent full.
Why must we residents suffer and pay fines of up to $500 when there's plenty of water?
Water system has been mismanaged
Of course residents should not waste water, but is it their fault California's population has doubled in the last 30 years and politicians haven't built any new dams or more reservoirs?
Is it their fault that environmental extremists have successfully sued to demolish four existing dams in the northern part of the state? Or that those extremists have, during this drought, forced releases of massive amounts of water from Lake Shasta -- even though before California was settled the natural consequence for fish during droughts was dried-up rivers, which somehow they survived?
Or is it their fault that with 12 percent of the nation's population, California supports -- with more than 30 percent of the nation's welfare cases -- millions more people using up water and money that could otherwise have built more reservoirs or better schools and roads?
If we want to have enough water in California's future, we should also fine or fire the water agencies, politicians and extreme environmental groups that have mismanaged what used to be a great water system.
Thinking outside bureaucratic box
They still don't get it. Residential use of water encompasses only 5 percent of all the water used in California. If we could all reduce our usage to zero, it still wouldn't make a dent. Meanwhile, we allow such things as golf courses and man-made snow for ski resorts to waste water for recreational use.
We need to make water desalination plants along our 840 miles of coastline. This is doable. It can be paid for by scrapping the $67 billion high-speed rail fiasco and replace it with the Hyperloop, for $6 billion. The remainder can be used to make as many as 38 water desalination plants at $1.6 billion. Each would produce 128 million gallons per day, yielding 4,864 million gallons per day.
We could use free solar energy to power thermal distillation.
Our politicians need to get their heads out of their butts and their hands out of our wallets. These problems have solutions, if we think outside the bureaucratic box.
No reason to stop with just $500
Those who violate mandatory water rationing should be fined. Let's not stop at $500 but if over a certain limit the fine should be more than $500.
Another way to conserve water is stop serving water in restaurants unless requested. The waiter should inquire if the customer would like water. Just recently we were in a restaurant and most of the people left full or near full glasses of water when they left. People do not drink water, if they order a cocktail.
A lot of people got used to conserving during the last drought asking them to cut back another 20 percent would really cause a hardship. What are they to do?
Groundwater best method of storage
Fining urban users without metering all cities (Sacramento, Modesto) and all agricultural users is not a solution. The state should have required the use of purple piping and recycled water for all outdoor use long ago.
The real savings are in the 80 percent of use by agriculture. It is time to stop farmers and exempt irrigation districts from depleting aquifers without any restrictions, payments or accountability. Stop growing alfalfa with taxpayer-subsidized water and shipping it to China.
Building more dams and reservoirs does not create rain or increase our finite water supply. Water must be moved from these facilities regularly to prevent the growth of cancer-causing trihalomethanes. The proven storage for long-term reliability is groundwater recharge in wet years and metered pumping in dry years. The solutions are known, the will to implement them is lacking.