California couple faces fine for conserving water

A Southern California couple who tried to conserve water by cutting unnecessary use of the natural resource faces a monetary penalty of $500 penalty for not watering their lawn.

While the state water board recently approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions, and announced any violations would attract a fine of $500 per day; administrators of the city of Glendora warned Michael Korte and his wife, Laura Whitney, that they could be slapped with a fine of $500 for not watering their lawn.

Giving Korte and Whitney sixty days to restore their brown lawn, the city authorities underlined that in spite of water conservation efforts, limited watering of lawns was still required to let the surroundings to look green and healthy.

Grumbling over the warning, Whitney said, "My friends in Los Angeles got these letters warning they could be fined if they water, and I got a letter warning that I could be fined for not watering. I felt like I was in an alternate universe."

California is in the grip of drought for the third year in a row, which forced water authorities to urge people to cut their water use. But despite several voluntary and mandatory restrictions, water use increased by 1 per cent in May compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

But many Californians, just like Korte and Whitney, are caught in the midst of conflicting government messages as the need to conserve water clashes with the need to maintain attractive environment.