Sprinklers watering a Southern California lawn. Courtesy Metropolitan Water District

California officials Tuesday adopted a series of emergency water restrictions to help the state conserve water as drought persists despite an extremely wet December.

The temporary rules adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board will be in effect for one year and are aimed at promoting water conservation and preventing unreasonable water waste.

People who violate the rules could face up to $500 for each day in which the violation occurs.

Among the new statewide rules are prohibitions on watering lawns and landscapes during or within 48 hours of rainfall; watering in a way that causes runoff into streets, driveways and gutters; washing hard-surfaced areas such as driveways and sidewalks with potable water; and washing vehicles with a hose that doesn’t have a shut-off nozzle.

The rules prohibit people from using potable water to fill decorative fountains, lakes and ponds, according to the state water board. People can use water to replace evaporative losses from fountains, lakes and ponds that have pumps to re-circulate water. The rules also prohibit using potable water to irrigate turf on public street medians or publicly owned or maintained landscaped areas between the street and sidewalk.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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