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Tougher Water Restrictions Would Affect California's Hotel, Restaurant Industry Amid Severe Drought

SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— Californians could see even tougher water restrictions after a key meeting gets underway Tuesday in Sacramento. The state could impose rules that limit watering your lawn to only two days a week. In addition, restaurants and bars would serve water on request only and all hotels would be required to give guests the option of not having their towels changed each day.

Aside from watering your lawns, the State Water Resources Control Board has already banned people from hosing down their driveways or washing cars without a shut off nozzle.

"Many Californians are stepping up, both residents and businesses. We just need to see more because we're in a really tough spot," said Max Gromberg, a Cal Environmental Protection Agency researcher.

The Governor has already asked Californians to conserve 20 percent, in January which saw no rain. Conservation was not even nine percent. Most local water agencies already impose their own individual restrictions, but these new statewide water rules are for those agencies not already doing so.

The Central Valley has been particularly hit hard by the drought. In the Fresno County community of Shaver Springs they're really cutting back. The Fresno Bee reports the water district has one well that's contaminated with radiation-type elements from granite around the wells. A second well is not producing because of the lack of rain.

Part of the problem is the fissures in the rock formations, which in addition to possible contamination can also make it difficult to draw up the water.

Someone checks the wells and community tanks every day, writes out the levels on a whiteboard, which residents keep an eye on in order to distinguish dry days from super dry days.

One woman has water trucked in to maintain her landscaping. Cars are washed with bath water. Toilets are flushed only when necessary.

Next week, county supervisors are expected to impose even stricter water restrictions on homes.

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