PETALUMA, Calif. (KRON) — In the North Bay, Petaluma residents who refuse to follow drought water restrictions will now face fines. 

In the city of Petaluma, the city has a plan it developed during previous droughts to reduce water use. They have not activated that plan and there are stiff penalties for those who don’t follow the rules.

The city of Petaluma is now Stage 3 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plan. What that means is that residents and businesses in the city must reduce water use by 25 percent. These are mandatory reductions.

Among the new restrictions, restaurants now can only serve water when requested, there is no washing of cars at home, fountains must be turned off, no filling of new pools or spas and lawn watering can only happen during nighttime hours on specific time schedule.

The city will also limit water use on case-by-case basis when it comes to large scale irrigation at places like parks and golf courses.

Now that the restrictions are mandatory, there are also penalties for not following the rules. Anyone who is caught wasting water will first receive a warning. Repeat offenders face escalating penalties that could reach $1,000 per violation.

The city also could restrict or shut off water service for those who continue to break the rules or refuse to pay the penalties.

Most neighbors here have been through this before so being asked to reduce water use is not that surprising.

“I think it’s what we have to do in this day and age with climate and everything else that’s going on. We have to protect our resources as opposed to watering lawns and golf courses. I think everybody should just suck it up and deal with what we have to deal with.”

Water users are also being asked to fix leaks and stop water waste, which is actually something they do when there isn’t a drought.