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Community Digest

Long Beach : Wasting Water No Longer Illegal, But Still Frowned On

March 18, 1993

The Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners has rescinded the last remnant of the city's mandatory water conservation program--a provision to cite residents $25 for wasteful practices such as hosing off sidewalks and driveways.

The unanimous board action last week was in response to Gov. Pete Wilson's announcement that the state's six-year drought is finally over. Long Beach water officials are asking water users to keep conserving, but voluntarily.

At one point, the city required residents and businesses to reduce their water usage by 10% to 20% and imposed surcharges on those that did not.

The city eliminated the requirement for mandatory conservation last March, after rainstorms eased the water shortage.

In all, Long Beach collected $4.5 million in surcharges for excessive water use. It also issued about 1,000 of the $25 citations to residents and businesses for wasteful water practices.

Long Beach Water General Manager Robert W. Cole said the money from the surcharges and fines was used to help offset lost revenue because of conservation--an estimated $10 million in the past two years.

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