Starting Tuesday night, East Bay residents will want to keep an even closer eye on their water use.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District Board voted to move to a stage two emergency drought level, which makes it mandatory to cut water use by 10% district-wide. It also creates fines for the area's biggest water wasters.
EBMUD explained how bad things have gotten by emphasizing this year is the driest January through June in the agency's history.
"I cam out here to take my bucket of water from the shower as the water gets warmer and dumped it on our garden," said EBMUD customer Sarah Cardena.
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In April last year, the district entered stage one level drought, which asks customers to voluntarily cut back water use. The new stage two declaration makes it mandatory.
The district says single family homes who use more than 1,600 gallons per day would now face penalties.
That shouldn't be hard to avoid considering the agency estimates the average family home only uses about 200 gallons a day.
"Having supplemental supplies and conservation in place really aids getting through difficult times," said EBMUD PIO Andrea Pook.
Beth Feree and John Eaton have used EBMUD water for 37 years. They've made changes to help in times of drought.
"We took our lawns out eight to 10 years ago," they said.
Homeowners will have to adapt and can report on water wasters who aren't following the rules, including a ban on watering laws between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
EBMUD said all customers will soon be notified of the new stage two drought declaration, and get tips on how they can help.