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Community Digest

Long Beach : Water Conservation Law Sets Use Quotas and Fines

February 14, 1991

The Long Beach City Council has adopted an emergency water conservation ordinance that sets water-use quotas for households and businesses and fines for those who exceed them.

Under the ordinance, the city Water Department will impose rationing standards over a period of months. Starting March 1, $25 will be added to the bill of anyone caught hosing down a driveway, watering a lawn between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or failing to repair leaks.

Starting May 1, the department plans to set water quotas for household and business use. The allocations will depend on drought conditions.

Under the least severe rationing plan, single-family residences would be asked to restrict their water use to about 374 gallons a day, the average amount consumed by single-family households during the past year. Additional water use would be billed at 1 1/2 times the normal rate.

The strictest rationing would call for a single-family residence to cut use to about 300 gallons a day. Additional use would be billed at four times the normal rate.

The allocations for apartments and duplexes will be slightly less.

Commercial and industrial users will at first be asked to cut their consumption by 10% of the amount they used annually before voluntary conservation efforts went into effect last spring. The strictest rationing would require cutbacks of 30%. Excess use would be billed at the same rates as residential customers.

Water customers will be able to appeal their quotas if, for instance, they have an unusually large number of people living in their home or the restrictions would put employees out of work.

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