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A Few California Cities Start Water-Waste Patrols

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — A handful of California cities are deploying water patrols to crack down on wasteful residents as the state faces a historic drought. At least 45 water agencies are enforcing mandatory water restrictions. The state capital has the toughest program.

Dozens of Sacramento city employees are driving around responding to complaints and warning residents who water lawns on prohibited days. Gentle reminders are preferred, but fines are slapped on repeat offenders.

Residents are encouraged to report scofflaw neighbors as the city tries to cut its water use by 20 percent. Other cities say they don’t need to go to similar lengths because they make water waste expensive or have permanent conservation rules.

Los Angeles, which kept water restrictions from the last drought, plans to only have four people patrolling its city.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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