RIVERSIDE (AP) — The city of Riverside has sued a state agency over water restrictions intended to combat the drought, claiming the rules are unfair because the city has ample groundwater supplies.
The Southern California city argues it has been unfairly ordered to cut water use by 24 percent even though it has groundwater supplies for four years and does not rely on any imported water, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court.
Riverside, a city of 317,000 people, wants to be allowed to cut water consumption by 4 percent along with some jurisdictions in Northern California that rely on surface water supplies, the suit said.
“We recognize the dire nature of the drought and believe Governor Brown’s call to action is timely, necessary and visionary for the state,” the city said in a statement. “However, the one-size-fits-all mandate applies a set of regulations without regard to Riverside’s position of having adequate water supplies.”
Andrew Diluccia, a spokesman for the State Water Resources Control Board, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
To combat California’s four-year drought, the board in May approved rules that force cities to limit watering on public property, encourage homeowners to let their lawns die, and impose mandatory water-savings targets for hundreds of local agencies and cities that supply water to customers.
Under the rules, each city must cut water use by as much as 36 percent compared with the same month in 2013.
Riverside claims the city bought private water companies with groundwater rights and built a $100 million water treatment plant to achieve water independence. It says it should not be subject to the same level of cuts as other places and wants a judge to block the rules from taking effect for the city, according to the suit.