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Dry Conditions Could Prod Water Cops to Police San Diego Usage


San Diego water officials are watching a Los Angeles plan to use water patrols. Because of record dry conditions water agencies throughout California are urging voluntary conservation. But if that doesn't work, we could face mandatory restrictions. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

In Los Angeles, water cops will be on the streets soon trying to stop people from wasting water. It's one way L.A. is trying to stress voluntary conservation.

Ken Weinberg is the director of Water Resources for the San Diego County Water Authority . He says if voluntary conservation doesn't work here, we could have water cops too.

Weinberg : If conditions get worse, you know if we have a dry year, if water supplies are constrained, you know we may have to do more. I think just as they're thinking about doing things in Los Angeles.

Weinberg says there are ordinances on the books in San Diego County from the 1987-92 drought. He says those laws spell out how water use is restricted and provide financial penalties for violators. He says the tighter the water supply, the tighter the water restrictions.

Weinberg says whether we'll be facing odd-even watering days and other restrictions depends on how much snow and rain falls this winter.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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