ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Albuquerque is declaring a "drought watch" in a move that increases fines for wasting water and steps up education efforts to encourage conservation.
The declaration taking effect Friday increases fines for wasting water to $40 from $20 for the first infraction.
Offenses include wasting water by letting sprinkler water run down the gutter or violating daytime watering bans during summer months.
The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/VdsiG) reports that the municipal water utility's board on Wednesday also approved hiring three additional inspectors to go after water wasters.
Some member of the public said the steps being taken don't go far enough, but board member Art De La Cruz says he thinks the fines are too burdensome for residents trying to make ends meet.
He's a Bernalillo County commissioner.