Californians' water use kept creeping back up in July after the lifting of mandatory statewide conservation orders for the drought.
The state Water Resources Control Board said Wednesday that California households saved 20 percent on water use in July compared to the benchmark 2013 water-use rates. That's 1 percent lower than the previous month -- but it's down sharply from July of last year, when California households cut their water use by 31 percent.
Experts wondered if residential water use would rise after the state ended its mandatory water cuts earlier this year and the data suggests yes. Californians are using more water.
The state had a normal amount of rainfall and snow this winter and spring, but it wasn't enough to end the drought. Regulators say they'll be watching water use to see if conservation mandates need to be reinstated.
- Capital Public Radio Staff