California Drought
A visitor walks near the receding waters at California's Folsom Lake, which is at 17 percent of its capacity. Gov. Jerry Brown this week said the state's nearly four-year drought proves "climate change is not a hoax," though some residents disagree. Reuters

Predicting a summertime spike in water usage, California’s Water Resources Control Board released a draft of new water regulations Saturday, seeking to further reduce the amount of water used in the drought hit state. If approved, the restrictions will come into force in June and would force water suppliers statewide to cut usage by as much as 36 percent.

To ensure they are hitting the targets, the state water board plans to visit all 400 urban water agencies throughout June.

“We’re going to be up-to-our-eyeballs engaged with these agencies to see how they’re doing,” board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said. “We’re in a drought like we’ve not seen before, so all Californians need to step up. We know that we don’t know when it will end.”

The move is on top of governor Jerry Brown’s mandated 25 percent reduction in water usage across the entire state.

But not all suppliers are pleased, asking that conservation efforts, which have been in place since 2013, be considered before coming to a final decision early next month.

However, Caren Trgovcich, the board’s chief deputy director, stood by Brown’s cuts and supported the move to save more.

“We’re in an emergency,” she said. “We need to secure our water supplies in case the drought continues.”

In a prepared statement, the water board said some communities “have achieved remarkable results with residential water use now hovering around the state wide target … while others are using many times more.”

Areas such as the City of Beverly Hills and Coachella Valley are being asked to cut 36 percent, which is up from 35 percent previously. Restrictions are being eased in Newport Beach, Los Angeles, the city of Long Beach and Santa Cruz.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he appreciates the state control board recognized the city’s “aggressive conservation efforts.”

Those falling afoul of the proposed regulations could face fines of as much as $10,000 per day.