Local Restaurants Stop Serving Table Water Amid Drought

Coachella Valley Water District Imposes Water Shortage Contingency Plan

Table Water (1)

LA QUINTA, Calif. - Water agencies here in the Coachella Valley are implementing new water restrictions as the state continues to face a severe drought.
In La Quinta, Doriel Wyler, owner of Egg Cafe, greets customers when they first come in with a glass of water, but not anymore.
"A lot of times we just gave customers water and they wouldn't even drink it," Wyler said.    

So, now when you go to the Egg Cafe, if you'd like a glass of water, you'll have to ask for it.

"Sometimes, I ask the customers if they'll drink the water cause then it sits needlessly on the table," Wyler said.
The Coachella Valley Water District recently imposed mandatory restrictions on water use, they include asking restaurants to only serve customers who ask, but Wyler's been way ahead of the game.

Even before CVWD implemented the new rules, she's been taking action to help save water.
"We definitely are using less glasses, less ice. We're even conserving ice, because ice is water," she said.

The water district says it takes 4 glasses of water to clean just one cup.

"You know, I think one of the reasons why that's a restriction is not just because of the impact it can have, but because its something so simple," said Coachella Valley Water District Spokesman Heather Engel.

Engel said the new restrictions are now in effect, but it's still working on notifying restaurants and other businesses. She said it'll be sending notices out as soon as next week.

CBS Local 2/KESQ News Channel 3 spoke to a number of restaurants who said, because they're aware of the state's drought crisis, they've stopped serving water to customers. However, most were not aware of the waster district's new water shortage contingency plan.

"If it's just going to go to waste, in these times of severe drought, why not? It's just too easy not to give people water," Engel said.

Wyler said the water agency gave her water tents to put on her restaurant's tables to notify customers that they'll have to ask for water when they sit down.
"Besides them not needing the water, it makes them aware, or maybe they'll leave here or another restaurant and think you know maybe I should be saving water at home," Wyler said.

The water district says it will gradually start to enforce the restrictions as the notices are sent out.

Here are some of the other rules:

    -- Irrigate lawns and other landscaping only after sunset and before 10  a.m., except when overseeding or doing maintenance;
   -- Repair broken sprinklers within 24 hours;
   -- Washing hard surfaces, such a driveways and patios, is prohibited;
   -- Wash vehicles and windows only if using a hose with a shut-off nozzle;
   -- Prevent runoff flowing onto a neighbor's property or hard surfaces; and
   -- Fountains or other water features must recirculate water.

Those who violate the rules will get a written warning for the first offense, a $50 fine for the second, a $100 fine for the third and $200 fine for the fourth violation, according to the water district.
For more information on the Coachella Valley Water District's restrictions, go to www.cvwd.org.


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