Millions of Californians are about to be hit with strict water rationing — daily “allocation” numbers that represent the maximum amount of water you’re allowed to use for any purpose. Households that exceed the allocation limit will face stiff fines of hundreds of dollars per violation.
“In July, the State Water Resources Control Board passed stage one emergency regulations, giving powers to all local water agencies to fine $500 per violation,” reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Keep in mind that these are only “stage one” emergency regulations. Stages two and three have yet to be invoked and will only become more severe.
The amount of water each household is allowed by water districts will be determined by government employees viewing satellite imagery of private properties, then calculating how much water that property should be allowed to use.
“Using census records, aerial photography and satellite imagery, an agency can determine a property’s efficient water usage,” says the SGVT.
In some districts, water rationing allocation is also based on the number of persons who are known to be living at each address based on U.S. Census data. The Irvine Ranch Water District allows 50 gallons of “indoor” water consumption per person in the home. As explained on the IRWD website:
The indoor water allocation is 50 gallons per person per day and depends upon the number of residents in a home. Water allocated for landscape irrigation depends upon the type of home.
As the IRWD website explains, those water consumers who the government deems to be “wasteful” will be charged 160% or higher rates for water consumption. This is on top of the $500 fines for each violation, as has now been approved by the state.
The 50 gallons per person per day is the maximum allocated amount for all indoor water use, including laundry, showering, toilet flushing, drinking, washing dishes and hand washing for hygienic purposes.
According to the EPA, the average U.S. citizen currently uses 100 gallons per day, with 70 of those gallons consumed indoors.  The largest users of indoor water are toilets, showers and clothes washers.