News has come in that the drought has become so severe in Los Angeles that there are now water police who are checking out those who are using too much water. A team of 5 named The Water Conservation Response Unit who are part of Department of Water and Power and their aim is to “educate customers about the importance of practicing water conservation.”
There have been reports that Enrique Silva the units’ director has been seen patrolling the neighbourhoods looking for residents who are not being careful with water, so those using sprinklers beware!!
He said “We will look for people irrigating on the wrong day, especially the one thing we’re looking for is water running in the street, run-off. It can be for any different reason, usually from irrigation being on too long.”
The records show that this is the third year that there has been the need to describe it as a severe drought and there are concerns that the underground aquifers will run dry. If this happens there will be around 40 million people who could be left without water.
Due to the information they have received, the DWP has put restrictions on gardens being watered every day and one of the requests made is that cacti are used in garden design as this will help in the future. Sprinklers can’t be used during the day and if there is evidence that this has happened, pictures are taken and a warning letter will be produced.
Silva has gone on to explain that “we’re more in an educational phase. We feel that people understand that we are in a drought and we feel that if people know the rules, they’ll comply with them.” He went on to explain that there can only be watering carried out three times each week and that the letter will give the position and also the consequences – a fine of up to $100 can be levied.
Director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Stephanie Pincetl said “Maybe in years where there is a lot water, the water can be less expensive, but in years that are becoming more normal where there is less water, that water is very expensive. Because watering a lawn is not a necessity for human wellbeing.”
Some residents will inform of neighbours using too much water and knowing it is not an automatic fine stops them from feeling guilty. The last word goes to Mahmoud Jahedmanesh who says of some neighbours “When I see them every day they’re watering their lawn, after they were told to conserve water and they don’t — maybe they should just give them a little notice or something.”