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H2-Oh No! State Considers Huge Fines For People Who Waste Water

LOS ANGELES ( — A green lawn could end up costing you a lot of green.

Drought conditions call for conservation and restrictions.

The State Water Resources Board is considering a plan that would find residents $500 for wasting water.

KCAL9's Kaj Goldberg reports from Arleta, where he saw at least one homeowner who is risking a serious penalty by watering a lawn for more than 20 minutes.

That much water use could get that homeowner one of those fines.

During the drought conditions, homeowners can water their lawns but not so much there is a runoff of water into the street.

While washing a vehicle, Goldberg reports, a shutoff nozzle is required.

And in decorative fountains, recycled water must be used.

Who can afford such steep fines? Not many people.

Goldberg spoke to gardener David Romero.

"And the bill for the water is [already] too much money," he says. "$900 for two months."

To save money, Goldberg says, many homeowners are adopting new landscape ideas that are more cost-effective and drought-tolerant.

Georgia Dardenelle says: "Our water bills are going down."

She has pulled out thirsty grasses and flowers in favor of herbs, like manzanita, and decorative rocks.

Dardenelle also put in water-saving drip lines and timers.

She earned money from the Department of Water and Power, Goldberg reports, for doing the right thing.

"I got $2,000 back," Dardenelle says, "which helped defray the costs of putting in the drought-resisted plants."

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