Watch CBS News

Sacramento Man Evacuating From Flood Risk Hit With Drought Warning

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A man tells CBS13 that as he was evacuating out of concerns of flooding, the city of Sacramento hit him with a drought violation for wasting water.

Sacramento remains in a State 2 water shortage, and the utilities department hasn't stopped its enforcement of drought violators. The city still has a team of six to seven people who do water patrols enforcing drought conservation rules. Those patrols started in 2014 and the city says they won't stop until the state declares the drought is over.

The letter has Steve Zumalt livid.

"Gutter or pavement flooding, and watering on the wrong day," are the violations he read from the city.

On the day that violation came, Zumalt says he was busy preparing for a flood.

"I was hauling equipment over here, moving it out of the farm, because we were being evacuated from the farm, 'cause of Oroville, 'cause of flooding," he said.

During a historically wet winter following a five-year drought, Zumalt is one of hundreds in Sacramento who have violated the city's strict water conservation rules that are still in place.

"Once government starts a program, they never get rid of it," he said.

So far this year, Sacramento's utlities department has sent out 288 warnings and 53 water shortage fines totaling more than $5,000. The numbers are down from last year when the city issued 472 warnings and issued 168 fines worth $16,000.

A city spokesperson issued a statement reading:

Utilities is waiting to change our water storage condition until the governor rescinds the drought declaration. We are following our mandate.

Zumalt was not fined, only issued a warning.

Despite a dramatic change in California's drought conditions, the drought restrictions remain in place.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.