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Reminder: We’re still in a drought

Conserving water is more important than ever as central and southern California head into a sixth year of drought.

According to the USGS, The time period of June 2015-May 2016 has been the 3rd warmest on record for California. California saw 2015 as the warmest year on record.

The City of Santa Barbara remains at a Stage 3 drought status, with a 35 percent mandated water reduction, city-wide. That number is expected to jump to 50 percent next summer and before then, a lawn-watering ban is scheduled to go into effect January 1 of 2017.

In the meantime, city officials want to remind all of us to be careful using water — especially outdoors; No water run-off along driveways, sidewalks, patios and other hard surfaces.

City officials want residents to keep an eye out for water waste and report it to the city’s hotline. Josh Haggmark, the City’s Water Resources Manager, said it is not a campaign to get people in trouble but rather an effort fix a problem that someone might not be aware of, like a broken sprinkler.

A first time infraction for water waste comes with a warning; a second infraction comes with a 250-dollar fine. Consequences ramp up from there, including a possible flow restrictor or shut-off of water service. Haggmark told NewsChannel 3 that the City has never had to enforce the latter two.

You’ll find more information on the city’s website at The City’s Water Conservation Hotline is: (805) 564-5460 or email .

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