George - Habitual water wasters may be slapped with penalties of up to R4 000 or six months in jail as the George Municipality this week implements fines for repeat offenders.The municipality is implementing water restrictions according to its Drought Management Policy after the Garden Route Dam, which services the greater George area, was at under 60% in June. The latest reading, taken last Wednesday, showed it was at 52.41%. "We can’t sit and wait for rain that may or may not come. We must save now, so that we are not sorry later," George municipal manager Trevor Botha said in a statement on Tuesday, explaining that the fines system was a pro-active and serious approach to water security. "This is not a witch-hunt, but a concerted effort to save water wherever and however we can."The most expensive offence is for watering anything other than gardens, golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches – offenders will pay an admission of guilt fine of R1 000 for a first offence, while a third offence will set you back R4 000. WATCH: Level 4b water restrictions - what this means for householdsWatering your garden outside of the approved times of 19:00 and 21:00 twice a week will cost you R500 for a first offence and R2 000 for a third.Contraventions can be reported to 044 801 6350, and law enforcement officers will investigate. Those caught in the act will be issued with a fine, processed through the municipal court system. A witness may also make a signed declaration and report an offender, which may also lead to a fine."After three offences, jail time may apply," the municipality warned in a statement.Applications may be made for exemptions, but will only be granted under exceptional circumstances. Water users are warned to, among other things, not make use of mechanical irrigation and only use handheld hoses between 19:00 and 21:00 on Mondays and Thursdays for even-numbered households and Tuesdays and Fridays for odd numbered households. The cleaning of any outdoor surface using water has also been prohibited.