Council Passes New Residential Watering Restrictions

The Bakersfield City Council has approved new rules that restrict the irrigation of residential lawns and landscaping to three times a week.

Councilman Terry Maxwell voted in favor of the emergency ordinance Wednesday. He says the city will passively enforce the new law.

“We don’t want people to think that we’re going to be breaking down their doors and seeing if their toilets are working properly or anything like that,” he said. “We’re not going to use this as a heavy-handed way of entering your lives and making you miserable.”

Bakersfield is being tasked by the State Water Resources Control Board to slash consumption by 36 percent. The city could be fined if the goal isn’t met.

“It looks like the board is going with a criminal fine, which would be an infraction or a misdemeanor, which is standard throughout state, but they also have an administrative penalty – and they have not indicated what that is,” city attorney Virginia Gennero said.

The new regulations take effect Thursday morning.

– Anthony Pollreisz