Epic Drought in the West; More Than 20 Wildfires Burning

With water reserves at an all-time low, fines for those who disobey water restrictions in California.
1:50 | 07/16/14

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Transcript for Epic Drought in the West; More Than 20 Wildfires Burning
you know in the weather department is from the west tonight still in the grip of an epic drought. This picture says it all. On the left bright green, that's artificial grass. On the right the real stuff, completely burned up. Tonight the new restrictions for families when it comes to their watered. ABC's David Wright with those on patrol as firefighters work to knock down those fires raging in the dry conditions. Reporter: Across the west, no fewer than xx wildfires. The bully fire in northern California has chewed through 10 square miles and destroyed eight homes. The landscape, a tinderbox, because of the worst drought in more than a century. Water reservoirs are bone dry. Nevada's late mead, at its lowest point since they built the Hoover dam. We need water. We're going to have to get water. Reporter: In California, the crisis is so bad for the first time officials are imposing mandatory statewide water restrictions. Starting today, it's illegal to let your sprinklers flow into the street. Illegal to hose down sidewalks and driveways. Illegal to use an open hose to wash your car. Scofflaws face fines, up to $500 a day. Until now, shame has been the only weapon. But to no avail. Too many people ignored the governor's pleas to cut back on water. Statewide water use has gone up. I think my husband has been guilty of coming out late at night and doing a little secretive watering underneath the trees. Reporter: Californians are now being encouraged to rat out their neighbors. Lawn sprinklers and car washes are the only culprits. Agriculture uses 80% of California's water. The drought is projected to cost $1 billion in crop losses this year. That'll likely mean higher food prices nationwide. Here in Los Angeles, you look around and you would have no idea there's a water shortage and that's the problem. This oasis is man made. And right now, there is simply not enough water to sustain it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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