New conservation numbers show California saved 9 billion gallons of water, or more than 4 percent, in June of this year compared to 2013. The savings grew to 17 billion gallons in July, which is more than 7 percent. State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus says the results are encouraging.
“People are stepping up conservation and particularly in July, which is usually a month where water use goes up, we saw an average of a 7 percent decrease,” she says. “Which is quite good, actually, compared to where we where before.”
Marcus says mandatory conservation rules imposed by the state this summer may have been a factor in some areas.
“Large urban centers are frequently hundreds and hundreds of miles from their water source. They’re not seeing the fields going fallow. They’re not seeing the communities running out of water,” she says. “And some of them, I think, had a false sense of security and a false sense that the drought wasn’t so bad.”
The Water Board report shows the Sacramento region saved the most, with a nearly 20 percent conservation rate. Southern California was also singled out for its high rate of turf removal, though the region had lower water conservation rates. Governor Jerry Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent.
These large suppliers (serving more than 40,000 people) reported the biggest increases in July water use compared to the previous years among 362 respondents to the state survey:
- City of Whittier (Los Angeles County), 20 percent.
- City of Redlands (San Bernardino County), 14 percent
- City of Hawthorne (Los Angeles County), 13 percent
- City of San Clemente (Orange County), 12 percent.
- Olivenhain Municipal Water District (San Diego County), 11 percent.
- City of La Habra (Orange County), 11 percent.
- Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (Los Angeles County), 10 percent.
- City of Lodi (San Joaquin County), 9 percent.
- City of San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo County), 6 percent.
- Cucamonga Valley Water District (San Bernardino County), 5 percent.
These large suppliers reported the biggest decreases in July water use:
- California Water Service Company Livermore (Alameda County), 38 percent
- City of Pleasanton (Alameda County), 37 percent.
- Dublin San Ramon Services District (Alameda County), 34 percent.
- City of Woodland (Yolo County), 27 percent.
- Sacramento Suburban Water District (Sacramento County), 26 percent.
- City of Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz County), 25 percent.
- Placer County Water Agency, 22 percent.
- City of Sacramento (Sacramento County), 22 percent.
- Alameda County Water District, 22 percent.
- Citrus Heights Water District (Sacramento County), 21 percent.