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Californians Conservation Efforts Still Short


The State Water Resources Control Board says Californians used 13.5 percent less water in April compared to the same month in 2013.

The conservation level is triple the percentage for March, but is still well below Governor Jerry Brown's mandatory order of 25 percent that goes into effect this month.

Water board chair Felicia Marcus says she believes local communities are increasing their conservation efforts like they hadn't before.

"I'm hoping that's why we're starting to see the uptick. The real challenge is we really gotta step it up for the summer months because of the fact half of the water use is outside. If we miss a summer, we're toast on this."

The conservation level for the month is well below the voluntary 20 percent mark set by Governor Jerry Brown last winter.

Over the last 11 months the total conservation rate is about 9 percent.

In that time, Californians used nearly 176 billion fewer gallons than they had the previous year.

The water board says during that time, there were more than 22,000 complaints filed with water agencies alleging waste. Nearly all were verified.

The water board's Max Gomberg says state agencies are about to introduce a new web page for reporting water waste, and new restrictions on urban landscaping.  

"The focus of those actions is really  reducing the amount of outdoor irrigation, particularly to thirsty landscape like turfs but then also really on leak detection and fixing leaks."

About half of the 411 water agencies in the state have submitted their plans to reduce consumption.

There is a water technology summit planned for July 10.   

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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