As California officials urge residents to cut down on their water usage, one Southern California couple found itself stuck between being fined for saving water and being fined for using it.
Laura Whitney Korte and Michael Korte received a letter from Glendora Police's code enforcement on Tuesday to take care of their browning front lawn.
"This I assume is the goal and if we don't reach this within 60 days we'll be fined or subject to criminal action by the city," Laura Whitney Korte said.
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The letter reminds homeowners that "limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green."
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"Keep all vegetation watered, mowed, trimmed and maintained," the letter reads, calling dead or dry lawns a potential public nuisance.
The Kortes had been saving water by watering their lawn just twice a week. In response to the ongoing statewide drought, California Governor Jerry Brown has called for a 20 percent cutback in water use. On Tuesday, state water regulators voted to approve fines of up to $500 a day for residents who publicly waste water on lawns, landscaping and car washing.
"I felt so confused," Laura Whitney Korte said, adding the couple has tried to call the city twice after receiving the letter, but has received no response.
Glendora Mayor Judy Nelson called the incident a "misunderstanding."
"Our water conservation officers are there to help them figure out how to still have a beautiful yard without using up too much water," Nelson said.
A new letter being circulated to Glendora residents emphasizes the city's commitment to combating the drought but again reminds homeowners to maintain their lawns for public health and safety reasons. The new letter does not mention fines for residents who do not comply.
Southern California residents may qualify for rebates for installing water-efficient sprinklers and appliances.