State Water Board Chair: ‘It’ll be up to Local Water Officials to Enforce Rules’

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No Snow Left Behind: This is what Squaw Valley ski resort looks like in late March 2014 (Max Whittaker, Getty Images)

No Snow Left Behind: This is what Squaw Valley ski resort looks like in late March 2014 (Max Whittaker, Getty Images)

In a California Report interview with State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus, the powerful state agency head told KQED Science Reporter Craig Miller that tighter restrictions on water usage will be handed down to water agencies in light of a near-certain record-dry March.  Tighter restrictions mean tighter enforcement, with no funding for local water agencies to enforce the state’s rules.

In the interview with KQED, Marcus makes no attempt at watering down the severity of the drought.  She states, “It’s the worst thing that any of us have dealt with — probably worse than anything our grandparents ever dealt with.”  Her hope is that local water agencies will enforce new regulations, which include offering water only on demand in restaurants, limits to watering on certain days and timelier response to customer service calls for water leaks.

Marcus tells KQED, “First time any state has actually stepped in and set minimum conservation levels, but we felt we had to — not to control and tell everybody what to do, in fact they were quite modest — but to ring the bell and give some permission to the local agencies.”  She added, “our goal isn’t a statewide takeover of every urban water agency. But in a time of crisis, we need something that’s more visible.”

Listen to the interview at The California Report.

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