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Inland Empire Business News April 5th.002
Inland Empire Business News April 5th.002

State gets tougher with water use

California officials Tuesday tightened restrictions on water use, limiting use by hotels and restaurants and placing an outright ban on irrigation during and immediately after measurable rainfall.

The state, now in the fourth year of a drought, is completing this winter with historically low rainfall, forcing the State Water Board to take action, according to multiple published reports.

Without dramatic action now, the state could face an even bigger catastrophe if the drought lasts through next winter.

The board’s action extends and expands emergency regulations that were adopted last summer and were scheduled to be lifted next month. Stronger and possibly more permanent restrictions could be implemented soon if water use isn’t cut dramatically statewide, state water officials said.

Under the new restrictions, restaurants and hotels will be allowed to serve water only on request. Also, hotels and motels must tell guests that they’re allowed not to have their bed linens changed every day.

Gov. Brown last year called for state residents to cut voluntarily their water use by 20 percent. In July, the state began requiring water agencies to report per-person water use to determine if that goal is being met.

State water officials are staying with their original approach to ending the drought, which is to try to change people’s behavior rather than levy multiple fines.

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