- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - Farmington is implementing tougher steps to conserve water because voluntary usage reductions haven’t done enough to cope with the northwestern New Mexico city’s water shortage.

The City Council on May 1 had declared a first-stage water shortage advisory and urged residents to conserve water to try to reduce use by 10 percent, but officials say water use since then actually increased with unusually warm temperatures and a lack of snowpack.

The council Tuesday night approved mandatory restrictions that include a watering schedule and fines for violations of use restrictions.

Additional steps will take effect July 16.

City Manager Rob Mayes says the council will have to authorize water rate surcharges if water consumption doesn’t diminish significantly.

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