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Beverly Hills Residents Might Have to Stop Refilling Their Pools and Ponds

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The (revised) statewide drought restrictions are hitting everyone hard, but especially cities singled out for excessive water use, like Beverly Hills. BH was told they'd have to reduce their water consumption by 36 percent or face heavy fines from the state, and the LA Times reports that they might be adopting some drastic measures to meet those lofty goals. That could mean—gasp!—not being able to refill their swimming pools or decorative ponds.

A report compiled by BH city staff presents three possible ways the city could cut back on water use. The most drastic plan, which the city's public works commission supports, would turn off water fountains; ban refilling swimming pools, ponds, and spas ( "except when necessary for reasons of health"); and have everyone on a city-mandated lawn-watering schedule. Violators would be fined as much as $1,000. (Is that even prohibitive here?) On top of those measures, the board could charge residents water rates that are ten times above normal if they go above their allotted water amount.

The other two plans are less drastic: Water cuts by 25 to 30 percent and limited lawn-watering—still those $1,000 fines for violators, though. So far, the city has made marginal efforts to reduce its water usage by 10 percent, doing things like encouraging its citizens to voluntarily restrict lawn-watering, so whichever plan is selected, it's likely to be jarring for residents. Beverly Hills' City Council will discuss all three plans tonight.—Leonard Hyman
· Under pressure, Beverly Hills may fine water wasters $1,000 [LAT]
· Mapping/Shaming the Most Water-Guzzling Places in SoCal [Curbed LA]