Coachella Valley water suppliers fined for not conserving enough water during drought

Plenty of Californians cut water use in September, 26.1 percent compared to Sept., 2013 overall, but four communities in the state didn’t do their part and are now facing some big fines because of it – including 2 in the Coachella Valley.

The Coachella Valley Water District and Indio Water Authority (along with Redlands and Beverly Hills) did not abide by California’s mandated conservation standards and now each face a $61,000 fine for missing their goal by wide margins.

“They weren’t making a strong enough effort, and the customers in their districts were not responding to the effort that they were making,” said Cris Carrigan, the state board’s enforcement director, during a conference call with reporters

The four agencies fined by the state wasted a total of 2.3 billion gallons of water since June.  The city of Indio was supposed to cut water usage by 32 percent – but only reduced it by 22 percent. Redlands fell short by 11 percentage points while Coachella Valley was 9 percent off.

As for the wealthy city of Beverly Hills, the state required that it reduce water usage by 32 percent – but it only reduced it be 24 percent.  State officials were not pleased about that.

Cris Carrigan, director of the Office of Enforcement of the State Water Resources Control Board, told the LA Times that he is “sure” there are water users in Beverly Hills that are “very conscientious and doing their part.”

“To those who aren’t, and are wasting water,” he added, “I’d say yes, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”