By Lance Williams.
California will crack down on future “Wet Princes” – homeowners who use enormous quantities of water during droughts.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown this week requires local water agencies for the first time to set limits on how much water residential customers can use after a statewide water emergency has been declared.
For decades, most utilities have allowed customers to pump as much water as they can pay for, drought or no. Now, if water wasters flout the new restrictions, they will face fines of up to $500 for every 748 gallons of overuse, the new law says.
State Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo proposed the measure last year after Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting published The Wet Prince of Bel Air, a story about mega water use during a crippling four-year-long drought.
The so-called Wet Prince was a homeowner on the Westside of Los Angeles who used an astonishing 11.8 million gallons in a single year – enough for 90 families.