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California civilians could face up to $500 in fines if they break new rules intended to save water in the state.

The rules state that Californians will not be able to water their lawns for 48 hours after rainstorms or let their sprinklers run onto the sidewalk. These new rules came as California is still suffering from a drought despite recent rain and snow.

The rules also include a long list of other wasteful practices that will be prohibited and punishable by a fine. This includes outdoor watering that results in excessive runoff into the street and sidewalks, using water for landscaping and irrigation during the 48 hours after storms that bring at least 0.25in (0.63cm) of rain, washing cars with hoses that lack shut-off nozzles, using potable water to wash driveways, as well as ant other water-wasting practices that cause too much water to be put to waste.

Eric Oppenheimer, the chief deputy director for the California state water board, said, “Conserving water and reducing water waste are critical and necessary habits for everyone to adopt as we adjust to these uncertainties and we build resilience to Climate change, so adopting emergency regulations now just makes sense. We need to be prepared for continued drought.”

The rules could come into effect as soon as the end of the month, and people are urged to take them seriously, especially as weather patterns have become unpredictable from the climate crisis.

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