California authorities approved drastic new water conservation measures on Tuesday to help the state handle historically low levels of rainfall this year. The new rules include fines of up to $500 per day under some circumstances for watering a garden, washing a car, or rinsing a sidewalk. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) had already declared a drought emergency. "People don't understand the gravity of the drought," State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said. Read more at The New York Times.