Just trying to conserve but not going over well with them……

Cities under pressure from California for failing to slash water consumption enough during the prolonged drought are cracking down on residents.

That’s prompting an outcry in places such as this Fresno suburb, where officials handed out more than $500,000 in fines this summer for violations including lawn watering. Tim Adams said he is unhappy about the $25 fine he got last month for failing to reduce water usage enough at his barbershop, and he worries about future fines. “I legally have to wash my hands and utensils between customers,” he said.

Some local officials share the frustrations but say they are being pressed by the state to reduce overall water use or face hefty fines themselves. Mandatory statewide water restrictions went into effect June 1, and Clovis was among the cities and districts ordered to reduce their water consumption the most, by 36% from 2013 levels.

“People are angry because they don’t understand why,” said City Councilman Bob Whalen, adding there is some resentment because Clovis has already taken conservation steps such as spending $10 million on a water-banking facility. “And I can’t give them a good reason except to say we’re in a drought.”

The State Water Resources Control Board released figures Oct. 1 showing that most Californians are complying with statewide restrictions aimed at cutting urban water use by 25% between June 2015 and February 2016 as compared with the same months two years earlier.

Board officials said they had to get tough as the drought continued—it is now entering its fifth year. “The bottom line is we are in an emergency,” said Max Gomberg, the board’s climate and conservation manager. “The goal is saving water, not giving credit.”