California Drought Dries Out Wallets

By Jay Gray

Published 07/16 2014 04:58PM

Updated 07/16 2014 05:00PM

(NBC News) As much of the country continues to deal with crippling drought conditions this summer, the hard hit state of California is now policing water usage much more closely.

The cracked land and dried out lakes are evidence that California has been paying the price of a drought that has persisted over several years.

This drought has resulted in the California State Water Resources Control Board approving a $500 fine for residents who waste water.

"I hope the message to the community is if you've got a leaking sprinkler or if you are thinking about watering your sidewalk or washing your car that you need to have a shut off nozzle and not disobey these regulations," said Marty Grimes, the spokesperson for the Santa Clarita Water District.

Governor Jerry Brown has pushed for a 20% reduction in water usage to aid the extreme drought conditions that are now threatening thousands of agricultural jobs as well as fish and wildlife species in the state.

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