Enforcement officers poised to crack down, fine water wasters in South Bay

The Santa Clara Valley Water District wants to crack down on water wasters and the board of directors is set to discuss fining homeowners who aren't conserving water. 

As California's drought continues to loom, district officials say very few people are heeding to the conservation rules.

Last summer, officials told residents in Santa Clara County to cut water use by 15 percent.

The water district also asked city governments to limit households watering lawns to just two days a week.

Most cities allow three days, while others don't enforce any restriction.

Despite the rules, instead of water usage declining, the water district reports water usage went up 30 percent from March 2019 to March 2021.

Board members say sources for water are starting to run dry and it's becoming expensive buying additional water from federal suppliers. 

As a result, the water district's CEO said at an April 27th board meeting that the district now preparing to pass a 2-year budget for the first time in 20 years. 

"The drought we're in the middle of is truly unprecedented and the need to purchase emergency water supplies for Silicon Valley is absolutely critical for our region," CEO Rick Callendar said. The board on Tuesday afternoon is expected to  fine tune a plan for water enforcement officers who will find people who aren't conserving water and hand out fines of up to $500. 
 Ratifying and approving the plan wouldn't happen for another two weeks. But the enforcement could be in effect by the summer.