A water budget being a kind of inventory of the actual human beings living in Sierra Madre, including how many of them live per house, what they possess that might require water, and the nature of things such as the plants on their property. Nosy stuff like that. All so that those persons can be financially dunned more efficiently should these water budgets determine that they've used more agua than deemed appropriate.
Fortunately, the City Council blew all of that off. Hiring highly costly consultants at a time when City Hall is crying poverty, done in order to justify the doubling of utility taxes, is not only bad politics, but also in considerable poor taste. I believe that was taken into account.
Besides, it now appears that the Water Department Director, a Mr. Chicken Little, was wrong and Sierra Madre actually is hitting its state mandated water use goals. And all of his costly consultant stuff really wouldn't be that necessary after all. Here is the rather sunny assessment from the Los Angeles Times (link).
I find that to be pretty impressive, actually. At 32% Sierra Madre has one of the more rigorous water use reduction numbers in the state, and beating that number by a full percentage point is nothing anyone should sneeze at. Especially when you consider what happened in Pasadena, which has a goal that is considerably more lenient.
Sierra Madre's erstwhile water rival to the east, the City of Arcadia, apparently failed miserably. Even after having been busted in Superior Court for the wholesale theft of precious water reserves from the Foothill Village, they still went into overuse drive.
Not a very good performance for the Peacock Peoples Republic.
So what is the upshot of all this? What will the consequences of such failure be for Pasadena, Arcadia and other local water agencies that failed to hit their state mandated numbers? Apparently some very stiff fines (link) are possible. After all, Sacramento loves its money just as much as any other government in this state.
I guess we'll have to wait and see if Jerry Brown actually goes and does the deed.