LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County officials Tuesday introduced a proposed ordinance that would increase fines for wasting water.

The Board of Supervisors’ ordinance would increase fines for violating water conservation requirements from $100 up to $500 per day. Written warnings for violations would be issued on the first offense, but fines would apply for every day of violation after that warning.

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The vote comes on the heels of a warning from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) that mandatory water rationing measures may be needed as the region prepares for a potential fourth straight year of drought.

Supervisor Don Knabe told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO a recent spate of rain in the Southland may have caused some people to forget about the state’s water crisis.

“Everybody sees a little bit of rain here, a little drizzle here, and they think, you know, ‘Hey, we had that good hit there’, that we’re in the best of shape, and we’re not,” Knabe said. “We’re still in a very significant drought.”

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The region’s reserves currently stand at about 1.2 million acre-feet, less than half of what the MWD held in storage at the end of 2012.

An acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, about the amount used by two typical Southland households in a year.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to place the measure on a future agenda for adoption.

The Metropolitan Water District will decide in April if rationing will happen. The last cutback occurred in 2009.

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