La Verne faces the distress of California’s three-year drought with newly introduced regulations on water use.
According to the United States Geological Survey, in 119 years of recorded history, 2013 was the driest calendar year for California, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a drought state of emergency last January.
At last month’s La Verne City Council meeting, a new ordinance was enacted titled Phase V on water use restrictions. This 11-restriction ordinance affects all in the community from students to residents to businesses.
Restrictions stated in the ordinance include a ban on water runoff from landscaped areas into paved areas such as adjoining streets and sidewalks. It is also prohibited for food establishments like restaurants and cafes to use non-water conserving dish wash spray valves.
“One thing we don’t realize is when we use electrical power, we are using water too,” Jay Jones, professor of biology, said.
Jones suggested installing valves on shower heads to turn on only when needed and using select fixtures on school grounds that are equipped for conserving water.
Local businesses in downtown La Verne have also been proactive in conserving water.
“We comply with city ordinances such as not washing sidewalks and not serving water unless asked,” Mike McAdams, owner of Lordsburg Taphouse and Grill, said. “We will serve water in pints rather than mugs unless specifically requested.”
“We are trying to conserve water as best we can like with washing dishes,” Nick Tondee, manager at Coffeeberry, said. “It’s hard conserving water because we need it to make our drinks like coffee and espresso.”
If members of the community have been seen wasting water and failing to uphold their responsibility, they can be reported using apps called Vizsafe or H2O Tracker.
These apps can be found in any app store and allow people to report anonymously.
These acts are being coined with the term “drought shaming.” Additionally, many are taking to social media, mainly Twitter, using “#droughtshaming” to talk about their neighbors, sometimes including photos.
Alternatively there is also an app, Dropcountr, that helps residents and businesses monitor their water usage in real-time. It alerts users when their usage is particularly high and generates reports to show trends of water usage.
The State Water Resources Control Board has acted to impose a fine of up to $500 a day for those who are wasting water. These tickets can be written by any public employee with the ability to enforce laws.
It cannot be stressed enough that everyone shares an equal responsibility in doing their part in conserving water and being informed and educated on the issue at hand, according to the results from the United States Geological Survey.
Jennifer Jackson can be reached at email@example.com.