The California State Water Resources Control Board says cities showed their best conservation yet by cutting water use 29 percent in May compared to two years ago.
The Sacramento Regional Water Authority says users in the Sacramento-area reduced their water use by 40 percent in May.
The state board says rain in parts of the state likely drove the May water savings. But the rain did nothing to ease drought conditions.
Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in 2014 and things have gotten worse.
In April, Brown ordered a 25 percent mandatory reduction in urban water use.
The Sierra Nevada snowpack normally melts in the spring and summer, providing about 30 percent of state water needs. But in April, the state said the snowpack was virtually gone.