Despite Drought, Last TMWA Citation Issued In 2012 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Despite Drought, Last TMWA Citation Issued In 2012

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The Truckee Meadows Water Authority has the ability to fine its customers for violating water policies. They tell us if somebody is caught three times breaking a rule, the first fine is $25. But how often does it happen? 

TMWA has not cited a customer since 2012. They tell us they're trying to educate their customers instead of punishing them. 

"It's not that we wont, or can't attach a fee," said Andy Gebhardt, manager of Customer Services at TMWA. "We still have that. But we have found that people respond well to the education."

The education includes how to set sprinkler timers correctly, assigned watering days, and how much water different plants need. 

Gebhardt says they don't see the need to penalize a person who is actively trying to fix the problem. To enforce water rules, they have several water conservation consultants on the streets throughout the summer looking for violators. Last season they had six people out on the road, but because of the drought, they doubled that to 12 for this summer. 

"We're just out to help not to hunt," said consultant Benjie Portillo.  

When we we went on a ride along with Portillo, only two people were caught breaking the rules. One  person had their sprinklers on too late in the day, while the other had too much water hitting the sidewalk and the street. 

"She got a phone call," said Portillo. "She was doing some other stuff. So she forgot to turn it off. She told me she was embarrassed because she saw us recording. But she shut the water off immediately and went back inside."

Here is TMWA's hotline that people can call to report water waste: (775) 834-8005

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