GROVER BEACH, Calif. -

Grover Beach City Council will discuss whether or not to declare a stage 3 water shortage. Residents and businesses would be forced to reduce their water usage. If not, they'll face strict penalties.

This is the 3rd year that Grover Beach has received 65% or less of its benchmark rain total, which is 20 inches a year. The city gets its water from 2 sources, groundwater and Lake Lopez, and it wants to get more water restrictions in place to protect those water sources.

Grover Beach declared a stage 2 water shortage last year, which encourages voluntary water reductions. But stage 3 is much more strict. There's a long list of things that will no longer be allowed, including watering landscaping, washing cars, or refilling pools. Water customers will also be required to cut their water usage by 10%, or they run the risk of penalties being enforced against them.

"Certainly we know it will create some hardships for some people, but it's really something that we think needs to be done given the current conditions," said Bob Perrault, Grover Beach City Manager.

If a stage 3 water shortage is declared after the city council meeting tonight the city will allow some wiggle room for those who don't cut their usage by 10% right away. They'll first get a couple of warnings from the Public Works department about it, and then after those initial warnings, that's when the penalties will kick in. Water rates could double, and in some cases triple for customers who are repeat offenders.