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Some Central, South Coast communities tightening water use restrictions as drought impacts hit home

Victor Furtuna
The drought is prompting the Metropolitan Water District to notify water agencies it feeds in Ventura County that they will get less water, and that they will need to impose outdoor water limitations on customers.

Thousand Oaks issues more than 120 fines for property owners who ignored warning about excessive water usage.

With the impacts of the drought continuing to grow on the Central and South Coasts, many communities are ramping up water use restrictions.

In the City of Thousand Oaks, the city’s limitations on the use of spray sprinklers could go from 15, to ten minutes a day starting on Thursday. The City Council will vote on it Tuesday.

The city has had advanced mandatory conservation measure in place since June. And, it hired a private security firm to help with overnight water patrols.

So far, more than a thousand warnings have been issued, without fines. 128 citations have been issued, including more than 100 $100 fines for second violations. Twelve properties have been cited for third violations, with $200 fines. And, two properties have ben citied four times, prompting $500 fines.

City officials say most people are trying. Water use was down by more than a third in July of this year compared with July of 2021. But, the city is still exceeding its target water usage by 28%.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.