State releases new water restrictions - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

State releases new water restrictions

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The State Water Resources Control Board released its second draft of water conservation standards Saturday and outlines a new nine-tier system for water cuts.

Some Central Coast cities will get a break on their reductions but others face ever deeper cuts.

This all comes following Governor Brown's April 1 mandate to cut overall water use in the state by 25 percent.

The latest draft attempts to reach that goal by adjusting conservation standards city by city.

Cambria and Grover Beach are in tier two and are being asked to cut water by 8 percent. The two cities previously were asked to cut 10 percent.

Morro Bay now needs to reduce by 12 percent.

The City of San Luis Obispo is getting the biggest break of Central Coast cities in its water reduction. Residents are now asked to cut back by 16 percent from the original 25 percent cut.

Pismo Beach still needs to reduce by 32 percent but it is an improvement from the 35 percent cut it was first asked to make.

Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Atascadero and Paso Robles face bigger water cuts than originally proposed.

They are all being asked to reduce by 28 percent now.

Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill told KSBY he's confident his city can meet the increased reduction.

"We do have to cut back a little bit more than we had originally planned," Hill said, "but I think that it is a reasonable and achievable target."

The City of Arroyo Grande is keeping a close watch on reservoir levels, according to Mayor Hill. Local police have also been asked to give warning to people they see wasting water.

"Even if we came back to normal rain or excessive amounts of rain historically would not be enough to replenish the aquifers," Hill said.

The City Council is prepped to pass mandatory water reduction ordinances, which means residents could face fines for wasting the state's most precious resource.

"This is a really important topic for everyone on the Central Coast and we all have to work together to achieve the reduction," said Hill.

Arroyo Grande residents told KSBY they are willing to make the reduction but wonder if their conservation efforts are merely a drop in the bucket in the big picture of California's epic drought.

The state's latest draft of water regulations is up for public comment until Wednesday.

State regulators will then release another draft, taking into account the recent comments.

On May 5 and 6, the Water Resources Control Board will meet and take a vote on whether to to make the regulations mandatory by law.

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