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Some Urban Water Suppliers Far From Conservation Goal

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Sprinklers irrigate the field at Kit Carson Middle School, one day after rains swept through the area, in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A close review of water conservation numbers shows some urban water suppliers in California still have a long way to go to meet mandatory conservation targets. 

In May, Californians made the biggest conservation gains since voluntary cutbacks began last year, increasing their conservation rate to nearly 30 percent.

But a review of the last year shows more than half of urban water suppliers would have to conserve an additional 10 percent or more to achieve their mandatory conservation requirements. Agencies that supply water-intensive industries are struggling.

Max Gomberg with the State Water Resources Control Board says some agencies have asked for alternative ways to comply.

"So we’ve got one that has to do with prisons, one that has to do with a large petroleum refinery, one that has to do with food processing and another that has to do with a power plant," says Gomberg.

Gomberg says the board will work with those agencies to help them reach their conservation targets. At its next meeting, the board plans to discuss pricing mechanisms including higher water rates to help increase conservation.