A 17 percent conservation rate in January brought the state’s long-term conservation rate down. Since water use reporting requirements began in June, Californians have cumulatively saved just 24.8 percent.
“The lion’s share of the lifting at this point has been done, so we’re focusing now on the future, so the gratitude is far greater than the disappointment at this point,” says Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.
Marcus says it's particularly difficult to save water in winter months. But she says people in Northern California shouldn’t be fooled by rain and snow this winter - the state is still in a drought.
January was also an unusually warm month, especially in Southern California.
New emergency conservation requirements that provide some relief to water suppliers go into effect in March. Those emergency conservation requirements will also be reassessed based on snowpack in April.