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Amid historic rain and snow, water board adopts drought-like emergency restrictions

The California Water Resources Control Board has adopted emergency water restrictions that will apply to all water users statewide.

The mandate includes prohibitions overwatering yards, washing cars without a shutoff nozzle, hosing down sidewalks or watering grass within 48 hours after rainfall.

The restrictions will apply to all water users, including individuals, business and public agencies and will be enforced through warning letters, water audits or fines, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the board.

The emergency regulation takes effect within 10 days, once approved by the Office of Administrative Law and filed with the Secretary of State.

The restrictions are similar to what was in place during the state’s last severe drought and come in spite of recent rains, but state officials said they are still needed.

E. Joaquin Esquivel, board chair, said in a statement:

Prohibiting wasteful water practices increases awareness of water as a precious resource no matter what type of weather we are experiencing in a given moment, because weather extremes are now part of our climate reality.”

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