Legislation prevents municipalities from fining residents who stop watering their lawns because of the drought.
The state Water Code has been amended to enable local water agencies (serving at least 3,000 customers or 3,000 acre-feet annually) during a drought-emergency to establish what constitutes an excessive water using customer and fine them up to $500 per violation of related regulations. SB 814 (PDF)
There are an estimated 5 million residences in California whose owners are members of homeowners associations. State laws prevent HOAs from prohibiting or fining members for practicing several types of conservation, especially during a drought-caused state of emergency. HOAs also cannot prevent members from installing artificial turf.