We've been following the drought by the numbers for more than a year here and here. Some of the historical and political nuances of how water is allocated are here and the last round of restrictions proposed by Gov. Brown are here. Now courtesy of this Daily Journal article, we start to get to the meat of the issue -- fines --and we read of yet another bureaucracy that is involved; sort of
Gov. Jerry Brown’s landmark mandatory orders requiring the biggest users to conserve more will impact communities differently. Yet many San Mateo County residents must brace for water rate increases as the area’s main supplier, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, announced a 28 percent rate increase slated for July.
On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board is poised to release more details on how it plans to implement Brown’s orders to cut statewide consumption 25 percent through tiered conservation standards ranging from 10 percent to 35 percent.
While some water officials expressed concern with the preliminary framework that bases a residents’ reduction target on September 2014 consumption — a time of year where people typically use more water — all utilities and cities will be required to cut back further or potentially face fines of up to $10,000 a day.
“I think now the issue is going to be there’s fines, this is real. What we’ve been in is a voluntary situation, we all have no choice, we’re in a mandatory situation now,” said Nicole Sandkulla, CEO of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency. “Everybody has to get serious about it to a level that’s different from where we were last year. I think as residents, we all have to take a look again and say ‘OK, what’s the next thing I can do? I can’t just do what I did last year.’ Because for most of us, that’s not going to cut it.”
Based on the preliminary framework and September data, most San Mateo County residents consume between 55 gallons and 110 gallons of water each day and would be ordered to conserve 20 percent compared to their 2013 usage.
Sandkulla said BAWSCA, which represents the interests of local suppliers who purchase wholesale water from the SFPUC, submitted comments and concerns it hopes will be incorporated in the state’s draft regulations anticipated for release on Friday, a vote in May and adoption in June.
I had never heard of BAWSCA, but their website notes that back in 2003:
BAWSCA was enabled by AB 2058 (Authors: Assembly members Louis Papan, John Dutra and Joe Simitian). The Legislature’s overwhelming support for the bill demonstrated the state’s recognition of the need for local government to protect the health, safety and economic well being of 1.7 million people, businesses and community organizations in the three counties.
You have to wonder if their website is up to date or if their mission and oversight are out of date because the B'game member of their Board of Directors is listed as Rosalie O'Mahony who has been out of office for almost five and a half years! And I hate to think of how well run any board with 26 members can possibly be. Even the Policy Committee has ten members. Are any of them calling ABAG and Planning Departments to see how many new water hook-ups are in queue in the Bay Area?