California is done with gentle nudges and polite reminders to deal with its devastating drought.
State regulators are naming and shaming local water departments that have let water wasters slide — and forcing agencies to slash water use by as much as a third. They say it’s necessary as California reservoirs, and the snow on mountains that is supposed to refill them, reach record lows.
The drought has no clear end in sight, but it’s up to hundreds of local agencies, from small irrigation districts to the city of Los Angeles, to make sure California has enough water to get through it.
Since Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency last year, they’ve largely taken a soft, educational approach to curtail water use. That’s no longer enough, he says.