The city of Solvang will add penalty fees to those who use excessive amounts of water.
Matt van der Linden is the public works director and city engineer for Solvang. He says most people are not aware of how serious the drought conditions are which is why the city hasn’t “been able to achieve significant water conservation.”
This stage II drought regulation comes into play after the National Weather Service predicted the amount of rainfall for southern California. However, unlike the stage I regulation, which was implemented in January 2014, stage II affects everyone.
To avoid added fees, irrigation customers will have to cut back 40 percent of what they used in 2013. Businesses and people who live in multi-family homes will have to cut back 15 percent of what they used last year. Single-family homes have a three tier cut back plan. Under this set up, fines will double if a household uses 11 to 16 units of water, and they will triple if 17 to 20 units of water is used.
Jimmy Jo Edwards owns a home in Solvang. She thinks the city’s new plan will resonate more with people because they will think, “Oh, if I go over this amount, I will pay double.”