EAST BAY, Calif. (KRON) — The East Bay Municipal Utility District voted to put in mandatory drought measures that will put limits on water usage and penalties if households go over those limits.

The East Bay Municipal Water District customers must start conserving water or else face penalties. This is effective immediately

The board approved the move into stage two drought at its Tuesday meeting. District spokesperson Andrea Pook breaks down what happens next.

“We are asking them to conserve water at a level of 10 percent and that is district wide,” she said.

Pook says the board stopped short of putting in a drought surcharge or rate hike to help pay for extra water supplies tabling it until a meeting in May.

However, the board will start an excessive water use penalty ordinance. That puts a limit of 1646 gallons per household. If you go over that daily rate, it is $2 per unit.

Pook says all of this is not to punish households but to make them face the reality of a three year state wide drought.

“The most important thing, what we do really matters and it counts, collectively we can make a difference.”