ViewPoint: Who's following the water restrictions?

May 24, 2007

Spend ten minutes driving around Albany and you will no doubt see violations of the statewide water restrictions.

In all parts of town, at all times of day, people are openly and freely watering their lawns with no regard for the drought or the law that bans daytime watering.

Monday, Albany Water, Gas & Light's Assist. General Manager Lorie Farkas, told us that in the last seven years when various water restrictions have been in place, no one, not one person, has gotten more than a citation.

Perhaps that is at the heart of this problem. If people know they won't be punished for breaking the law, why worry about it?

The city's Code Enforcement officers are charged with enforcing the law, but unfortunately, WG&L says the city manager has told the officers it's low priority.  And that's pretty evident.

It's time for our city manager himself to take these statewide watering restrictions seriously, and to instruct code enforcement officers to get busy and catch violators.

Those caught a second time will get fined $250 and we believe that will get their attention.

This drought is serious, our water is valuable, and we want to see our city do the right thing and go after violators.