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BLOG: Count Your Blessings, Rain Among Them

July 16, 2014, 12:49 PM HST
* Updated July 17, 6:36 AM
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Living in a rain forest – which is what most residents of East Hawaii do – has its down sides.

But the possibility of paying a $500 daily fine for excessive water use is certainly not among them.

That’s what residents of California are facing following the adoption Tuesday of emergency rules by the California Water Boards.

With 80% of the state undergoing “exceptional” drought conditions – the worst in decades — the state’s regulators approved measures that allow police to ticket water-wasters, USA Today reported.

Now banned are watering of lawns, washing cars without a nozzle and the use of potable water in a fountain unless it is recirculated.

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“There are communities in danger of running out of water all over the state,” the board’s chairwoman told the Associated Press before Tuesday’s vote.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown had asked residents to reduce water consumption by 20%, but recent figures show overall water usage actually increased 1% in May over the year before.

USA Today reported that if the new rules prove inadequate, tougher restrictions for landscaping and higher water rates are possible.

If water truly is “the next gold,” as one increasingly hears analysts say, then the Big Island’s windward side – where rainfall often exceeds 10 feet annually — is the modern-day version of King Solomon’s mines.

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Comparing our situation to the apparently misnamed Golden State makes it easier to dash through a downpour to your car, wouldncha say?

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