List of East Bay residents fined for excessive water usage includes campus professor

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The East Bay Municipal Utility District released a list Friday of more than 700 customers who were fined for excessive water use.

Individuals fined include those who have violated the Excessive Water Use Ordinance, which penalizes residents for wasting water. Among those on the list is UC Berkeley professor of music Richard Taruskin.

The ordinance — established by EBMUD in April and effected customers in July — is an effort to conserve California’s water resources in light of the state’s ongoing drought.

Violators of the ordinance used more than an average of 1,000 gallons of water per day within a two month billing cycle.

According to the ordinance, EBMUD intends to conserve water while maintaining that “the water delivered in the District is put to beneficial use for the greatest public benefit.”

“In the event the District determines that it is necessary to declare that a water shortage exists, the District will be authorized … to implement certain water shortage response measures,” the ordinance stated. EBMUD spokesperson Abby Figueroa could not be reached for comment.

EBMUD has periodically released lists naming ordinance violators before based on how many units of water they use. Customers are fined $2 per unit of water they use after consuming 80 units. One unit is equivalent to 748 gallons of water.

Taruskin was high on the excessive water use list, Patch reported, allegedly using approximately 5,747 gallons at his El Cerrito home.

Customers identified on the list are able to appeal the penalty by submitting a request form to the district’s customer service division, according to EBMUD.

Contact Cassandra Vogel at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @cass_vogxz.

Clarification(s):
A previous version of this article may have implied that the Excessive Water Use Ordinance applied to customers in May. In fact, while the ordinance became an official EBMUD policy May 29, the ordinance did not apply to customers until July 1.