‘Lawn Dude’ campaign launched as state’s water restrictions begin

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A photo posted to Twitter by @Lawn_Dude shows the conservation campaign in effect July 30, 2014

Water officials unveiled a cartoon mascot Thursday as a way to remind residents to restrict their water usage as the state’s severe drought continues.

The green blob mascot called “Lawn Dude” graced billboards across Southern California and on Twitter with messages about watering residential grass lawns.

“Don’t hose me man!” the mascot’s message stated. “I only drink 2 days a week.”

The nonprofit Southern California Water Committee launched the public service campaign during the historic drought conditions.

“What we’re asking is that people take these regulations seriously and that they help us get the word out,” said Fran Spivy-Weber of the State Water Resources Control Board

Data released Thursday showed about 58 percent of California was in “exceptional” drought, the worst category, up from about 36 percent just a week earlier, KTLA-TV reported. The entire state was in “severe” drought at a minimum, as it has been since mid-May.

At the beginning of 2014, no part of the state was considered in “exceptional” drought by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

The statewide emergency drought regulations focus on limits to urban outdoor water use and require Californians to stop the following activities:

  • washing down driveways and sidewalks;
  • watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff;
  • using a hose to wash a motor vehicle unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle; and
  • using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature unless the water is recirculated.

Violators could face fines of up to $500 per day.