Santa Barbara- S County

Water Wasters Learning to Soak Up Serious Drought Warning

Santa Barbara had 'water cops' in 1990 to enforce rules

Wasting Water in California Drought

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The drought emergency declared by Governor Jerry Brown has not been soaked up by some residents who had their sprinklers spraying in the middle of the day today.

That's exactly what water officials so not want to see because of the high evaporation rate.

One condo complex had many sprinklers going in all directions in the heat of the day, and one nozzle was broken sending water shooting up into a tree.

For months, Santa Barbara City officials have been sending out water saving messages, to urge customers to be "water wise."

The city had several bad years with little rain in the late 80s and early 90s leading to strict drought rules, and may have to consider those again.  They also had code enforcement officers known as "water cops."

 One Mesa resident Terry Bickham had his sprinkler going in the mid day because he had gone without watering for days was trying to get some of his dead lawn to come back to life.   He says he doesn't usually water in the middle of the day and was aware of the water shortage.   "I realize that , and will water late evenings and early mornings. I let it go so long  I'm gonna get it started with all well meaning."

Bickham said he will be careful with water, but also didn't want to lose his lawn.

Could the state, especially the Governor have moved quicker on this issue.  Some residents say it was obvious weeks ago.  "He waited too long," said David Kuttner a resident with drought tolerant plants in his front lawn.  "Yes, he did the right thing by finally mentioning it, but I heard four months ago that this is the driest year in 168 years. That should have been a wake up call right then and there."

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