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Poor Statewide Conservation Prompts California To Develop Water-Waste Snitching System

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California officials say residents aren't doing enough to conserve water, and now state officials want residents to report their neighbors and business owners who waste water.

The controversial system to "snitch" was created after a report found statewide February was the worst conservation month since they started keeping track last July, with residents only cutting use by 2.8 percent.

The worst of the conservation is concentrated in Southern California, with all 10 of the worst agencies being in the lower part of the state.

  1. City of Rialto(*), San Bernardino, 136, +6.5%
  2. City of San Clemente(**), Orange, 119, +1%
  3. City of Redlands, San Bernardino, 236, -.2%
  4. Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District, Riverside, 187, -.5%
  5. City of San Juan Capistrano, Orange, 107, -1.7%
  6. City of Colton, San Bernardino, 132, -1.7%
  7. Carlsbad Municipal Water District, San Diego, 153, -2.5%
  8. City of Fullerton, Orange, 124, -2.7%
  9. Coachella Valley Water District, Riverside County, 358, -2.8%
  10. Cucamonga Valley Water District, San Bernardino, 147, -2.9%

(*)Rialto has said its numbers overestimate actual water consumption
(**)San Clemente says its poor showing is attributable to the temporary closure of a recycled water plant.

Locally, districts have shown strong cuts, including Sacramento, Roseville, Tracy and the El Dorado Irrigation District.

  1. Dublin-San Ramon Services District, Contra Costa, 69, -27%
  2. El Dorado Irrigation District, Placer, 111, -25%
  3. City of Tracy, San Joaquin, 93, -23%
  4. City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, 45, -23%
  5. City of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, 71, -22.5%
  6. City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma, 66, -20%
  7. City of Roseville, Placer, 101, -19%
  8. California-American Water Company Sacramento District, Sacramento, 81, -18.65%
  9. City of Sacramento, Sacramento, 101, -18%
  10. City of Davis, Yolo, 98, -17.5%

Scientists say the investigation reveals everyone is responsible for the low numbers, from residents to businesses to government agencies. They say the warm winter weather was a contributing factor, along with more tourists flooding the state.

Because of the disappointing conservation numbers, the California Water Resources Board plans to lay out a more detailed water restriction policy. One will include a statewide system where people can report neighbors or business owners who waste water. That system is expected to be up and running in the next few weeks.

The new online system to report water wasters has many residents fired up, and some are sounding off on CBS 13's Facebook page.

Steven Kuhlman writes: "Totally necessary. I see people wasting water all the time and I don't know who to call."

Shari Smith Beaulieu disagrees, writing: "This is so very wrong. It sets us all up to hate eachother and we have too much of THAT as it is. Not a fan!"

Karol Fowler agrees with Shari: "I can see reporting businesses or a broken sprinkler/pipe, but reporting neighbors is a bit much. Just asking for trouble I think. Put everyone on meters and figure it out that way."

Gennifer Gonzales added: "I think businesses, hotels, and apartment complexes should be held accountable first."

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