By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 08/29/14, 10:19 PM PDT | Updated: 56 secs ago

HIGHLAND>> The East Valley Water District has implemented outdoor watering restrictions in its 27.7-mile service area, following orders from the state to reduce water use during the drought.

The district’s board approved the restrictions earlier this month and will issue fines to customers who violate those restrictions more than once.

Drought legislation also prohibits homeowners associations from fining residents for brown lawns, which they could in non-drought times.

“Our whole approach to this drought is not to be the water police,” said Janet Garcia, conservation coordinator at East Valley Water District. “We want to make ourselves available and offer customers the tools and information they need in order to be compliant and also help them conserve water.”

In January, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency due to the severe drought conditions. According to his proclamation, the state is experiencing record dry conditions with 2014 projected to be the driest year on record.

The proclamation also calls for a 20 percent reduction in water use statewide.

East Valley Water District provides water services to Highland, portions of San Bernardino and portions of San Bernardino County.

The water district’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan prohibits:

• Outdoor watering between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

• Outdoor landscaping runoff or excessive water waste.

• Washing down hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways.

• Using a hose without a shut-off nozzle to wash a car.

Customers who violate the restrictions will be given a warning on their first offense, but face a $100 surcharge if a second violation occurs within 12 months of the first.

If customers violate restrictions a third time within 12 months or they do not comply within 30 days of the second-violation notice, they could face a $200 surcharge and the installation of a flow restrictor.

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