Californians Getting Mixed Messages During Drought May 11 2015

AN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California is adopting unprecedented restrictions on water use, but residents are getting mixed messages from state and local officials.

As the state is telling residents to cut back on usage during the drought, questions are being asked about new housing developments in the works.

“If we’re so short on water, why are we putting more people here?” one resident asked.

In Southern California, cell phone footage captured Caltrans sprinklers watering freeway hillsides in the rain.  Caltrans had an explanation for that, spokesman Patrick Handler saying “there’s a lot of places where the vegetation provides erosion control.”

But just down the road, a message board warned drivers of the severe drought, saying to limit outdoor watering.

There has also been social media outrage over the amount of water it takes to produce a single almond.

State Water Resources Board Chair Felicia Marcus says there has been a misunderstanding about big agriculture.

“When you talk about this ag/urban misunderstanding, ag has been hit, but ag produces food that people in urban areas eat,” Marcus said.

There will be winners and losers in the fight to combat the effects of the drought, and each water district is now working to meet tough new standards of up to 36-percent cutbacks.

“You have communities that have different rules, and what we’re hoping is that everyone will step up their game,” Marcus said.

If they don’t, the water board approved fines up to $10,000.