Society

California Cities Start Water-Waste Patrols, Encourage Residents to Snitch

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The drought in California has caused 45 water agencies in the state to enforce mandatory limits on water use.

Citizens are encouraged to turn in neighbors who are suspected of wasting H2O to water-waste patrols.

These water patrols teach people to avoid wasting water on driveways, lawns and swimming pools, but can also cite residents for repeated violations.

"We do have the stick if people don't get it," Kim Loeb, a Visalia, Calif. natural resource conservation manager, told the Associated Press.

Sacramento has deputized 40 government employees, from building inspectors to meter readers, to stop water waste. Six employees patrol full time for violations.

The city is also encouraging people to report their neighbors and local businesses to authorities. The snitch campaign has resulted in 3,245 water waste complaints in 2014.

In contrast, Los Angeles has only one full time water patrol employee, but plans to expand to four by the summer.

In Marin County, near San Francisco, people can buy software and check to see how much water they use each month compared to their neighbors.

The City of Oxnard has encouraged neighbors to snitch on each other's water waste since 2009. According to a press release, the city has employees who drive throughout the town and look for water waste.

Roseville, Calif. has hired "water conservation workers" to check on people's water use since 2009.

Sources: Associated Press, City of Oxnard, Roseville.ca.us

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