California cracks down on water wasters

LOS ANGELES -- Last week we reported on how some drought-stricken Californians did such a good job at conserving water, they have to pay extra for it to make up lost revenues.

Now, the state is targeting those who waste water. But the penalties may just be a drop in the bucket.

In California's Coachella Valley, where green golf courses stand out like a mirage in the desert landscape, water users were asked to save 36 percent.

Instead, according to state officials, they're using 1.4 billion gallons more than allotted.

Water conservation is also in short supply in Beverly Hills, where lush green lawns still prevail.

Now, in a state of emergency because of the drought, California is slapping Beverly Hills, Coachella and two other water districts with fines of $61,000 each.

"The folks that are not pulling their weight, so to speak, they need to be prodded and we think that's what these fines will do," says state water regulator Cris Carrigan.

What Beverly Hills has failed to do, according to the state, was to go after water wasters.

"They haven't issued a single civil fine or penalty to anyone there," Carrigan says.

California water rates take a confusing turn

Back in May, Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold told CBS News that instead of shaming the city's millionaires, he wanted to educate them.

"Our goal is not to fine anybody," Gold said. "Our goal is to get everybody on board with the fact that you gotta save water."

Now the city says it's committed to "...implementing additional programs, such as new penalty surcharges."

If that message doesn't get through, the state could fine city and other water suppliers up to $10,000 a day.