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California city requiring residents to cut water usage by 10%

<i>KCAL/KCBS</i><br/>The city of Monrovia will require its residents to cut their water usage or face fines.
The city of Monrovia will require its residents to cut their water usage or face fines.

By Web Staff

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    MONROVIA, California (KCAL, KCBS) — Monrovia will require its residents to cut their water usage or face fines, as California continues to dry out amid this historic drought.

Beginning this March, the city of Monrovia voted to require every resident to reduce their water usage by 10% or face fines averaging at $10 a month or more for extreme water wasters. The city will compare a household’s usage in Feb. 2022 to Feb. 2020.

“There was one customer who was well over 120 units of their base allocation so $400 on their monthly water bill,” said Monrovia city manager Dylan Feik.

The new requirements have drawn concern from residents who have already taken several measures to reduce their water consumption. One resident, in particular, Heather Ohm relandscaped her front yard to include, agaves and many other drought-tolerant plants to bring her water usage down.

“We don’t car wash a lot or wash down driveways,” she said.

While Ohm came under her target water usage of 97 hundred gallons, she’s scared that the city may fine her if things change and called for the city to go after the major offenders.

“So now an additional person in the household and I’m already conserving as much as I can that I’m going to get fined,” she said.

The city council voted on this plan in December after Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a 15% reduction to combat the drought. The city ultimately decided on a 10% reduction for all residents and while they understood it may not be fair, they believed the dire drought justified such aggressive action.

“We have had to import water for the last eight years straight so it is serious,” said Feik. “We are in a situation now [where] 80% of our water use is residential use.”

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