Sign of dry times

Water companies ordered to warn customers of use restrictions

Water companies under the umbrella of the California Public Utilities Commission—including Cal Water in Chico—were recently ordered to provide direct notice of mandatory water-use restrictions and potential fines to their customers.

The mandate comes in response to the California Water Resource Control Board’s emergency water-use regulations, adopted on July 15, which prohibit using drinking water for outdoor landscaping in a manner that causes runoff; to wash a motor vehicle with a hose with no shut-off valve; to wash sidewalks; or in a fountain that doesn’t use a circulating system.

Each day a violation occurs will be punishable by up to $500. Go to for more information on the restrictions.

Pete Bonacich (pictured), acting district manager for Cal Water in Chico, said his office had scheduled a conference call for Aug. 21 to discuss the details. Notices, he said, would go out no later than Aug. 24.