There's no sunset provision. They've proposed a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Surely this drought will end some day, but you wouldn't know it by the council's actions. Once passed it's going to be on the books forever. For an example of an ancient ordinance see Listening in on the police radio? Shhhh, don't tell anyone about a 1953 ordinance about listening to radio scanner feeds that's still on the books after all this time.
OK, if you've just stumbled onto this blog here's what we are talking about. The other day the Midland, Texas, city council voted into place an ordinance allowing the Code Enforcement employees to issue tickets without warning to residents who accidentally allow water to run into the street. See Everyone is a potential criminal, they just don't know it previously about the omission of a requirement to warn potential offenders before issuing the $500 citation.
Residents have not yet been given access to the wording of the ordinance. Maybe the meeting minutes, once they go online, will contain the full ordinance. But so far the only thing available at the city website is the Agenda results PDF for the 9/27/11 council meeting. Here's what it says:
41. Consider an ordinance amending Title VI, "Police Regulations", Chapter 1, "General Offenses”, Section 19, "Nuisance Water", of the City Code of Midland, Texas, so as to prohibit nuisance water in the public streets; containing a cumulative clause; containing a savings and severability clause; providing for a maximum penalty or fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00); and negating a mental state; and ordering publication. (Code Administration)
Once it's written into the code, Midland residents will be stuck with it for generations to come. On the bright side, that might generate a new source of part time jobs for school kids -- lawn watchers to warn residents if water spills into the street.
Reading that agenda is an eye opener. They've approved hundreds of thousands of dollars of spending on polymer, Earthtec, anhydrous ammonia, potassium permanganate, aluminum sulfate and chlorine all for treating drinking water. But here's the speck of gold in the pan of sand. They approved a resolution to advertise for bids for a raw water project. Those of us who have been conserving water for years have long wondered why, out here in the middle of the desert, every drop of water delivered to residences is "drinking water" whether it's for washing the dog, watering the garden, or flushing down the toilet. Finally, after experiencing real water shortages, they've gotten around to that.