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Broken Sprinklers At State Capitol Raise Concerns Of Water Waste During Drought

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As Gov. Jerry Brown and state water officials say residents need to cut back on water use, sprinklers at the state Capitol were found spraying water into the street over the weekend.

A CBS13 viewer sent in images of a sprinkler watering a bench while another set of sprinklers water a sidewalk, as well as broken sprinklers squirting water onto seemingly nothing at all.

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This isn't happening at someone's home or business, but at the epicenter of where all the drought rules and regulations are coming from.

"It's frustrating becuase we're making cutbacks on a personal level," said Sacramento resident Michelle Coughlin, who watched video of the broken sprinkler spewing what she described as a "geyser" onto the pavement.

The water waste is against the law, handed down by the very people inside the building where this is happening. It's a tough pill to swallow, especially when experts say farmers have lost billions of dollars after water cuts and some people don't have a reliable source of water.

Residents in Mountain House are running out of water after the community's sole source of water, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, was one of 114 senior water rights holders cut off by a curtailment notice from the state on Friday.

Seeing the video makes Folsom resident Tom Scott mad. His grass is almost dead, and he wonders if his large redwoods are next.

RELATED: California Water Cuts Leave City Days Away From Running Out Of Water

"The governor is pushing this football, and if this is what's going on at the capitol late at night, he needs to get a crew out here to fix it," he said.

The Department of General Services, which handles the landscaping around the Capitol, refused to do an on-camera interview, but sent a statement saying "Sometimes government facilities have a broken sprinkler or are watering the concrete instead of greenery without being aware of the problem. In these rare instances it is our goal to address the problem as quickly as possible."

DGS has reduced water use by 40 percent recently, and crews only water areas near old grown trees. Many spots around the Capitol are dusty and show their efforts.

For some, image is everything, and what's happening at the Capitol is unacceptable. "Certainly cutting back on the flowers, cutting back on the lawn, OK good. But when you look at that video, it's a mess," said Ford.

After CBS13 called about the problem, a DGS spokesman says they quickly got to work fixing the problem.

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