People in the Sacramento region are conserving less water, according to new figures out today.
The numbers show Sacramento area residents reduced water use 15 percent in September, compared to the same month in the benchmark year of 2013.
In September of last year, conservation was nearly double - at 27 percent.
But the Regional Water Authority, which represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sutter counties, says comparing this year to last year is like comparing apples and oranges.
"It's not really accurate because they're completely different situations," says Amy Talbot with the RWA. "One - we were under a crisis, under mandatory restrictions. Now we're more kind of cautioning - 'okay, we're coming out of this drought, we're not sure what's happening this winter.' We're certainly not in the crisis that we were in, as far as water supply goes, in 2015."
State water regulators lifted mandatory conservation rules five months ago.
Last month's savings of 15 percent is in line with a 16 percent savings achieved by the region in September of 2014 when conservation was voluntary.
"Residents are making meaningful, permanent changes in the way they use water," says Talbot. That includes replacing lawn with low-water use plants and upgrading to WaterSense-labeled toilets and showerheads.