California plans to hire “water cops” to monitor people and businesses wasting water as statewide usage soared in March despite Gov. Gavin Newsom declaring a drought emergency last July and parts of Southern California under water restrictions, according to The Mercury News.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District, south of the San Francisco Bay Area, encompassing 15 cities and more than 2 million residents, is considering “water cops” to police neighborhoods and business districts for water wasters. People who are wasting water could be fined up to $500.
Water cops may slap citations for people watering their yards for long periods of time and washing cars in the driveway.
Aaron Baker, the COO of Valley Water, told CBS News that water cops are “needed because of the unprecedented times we’re in, and because we aren’t making enough progress on our water savings.”
The threat of water cops snooping on people comes as California’s total water usage in March was the most since 2015 despite calls for conservation amid a megadrought.
California Water Resources Control Board said water usage jumped 19% compared to March 2020.