Santa Monica : Final OK for Water Plan

Emergency water-rationing measures received unanimous final approval by the City Council on Tuesday night. Responding to California's drought, the council enacted the measures that limit lawn watering to twice a week and prohibit residents from filling pools unless they are new or in need of repair.

The measures, now in effect, add to the city's list of water measures approved last year. Those measures include a ban on lawn watering between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. and the use of running water to wash cars.

The emergency ordinance also outlaws the hosing down of driveways and sidewalks and requires restaurants to display placards on tables that state water will be served only upon request. The ordinance will be in effect until the council determines that there is no longer a water crisis. Violators could face a $20 or 20% surcharge on their water bills, whichever is more, and a $100 fine. The council also hopes residents will voluntarily reduce water use by 10%. To meet that goal, the city has distributed low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators and has offered to inspect lawns and irrigation systems for water-use efficiency.

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