Californians cut water use 18 percent in September compared to 2013, halting a three-month increase in water use over the summer.
It’s just a slight improvement over the 17 percent conservation rate in August, but well below the 26 percent savings in September of last year.
The State Water Resources Control Board ended mandatory conservation measures earlier this year – something that some environmental groups have criticized.
But since June of last year, the cumulative statewide conservation rate remains at 23 percent. Water regulators say Californians still need to conserve even with the recent rains that have soaked much of Northern California.
"There is a prohibition in place on irrigation when it’s raining and up to 48 hours after it’s been raining," says Max Gomberg with the State Water Resources Control Board. "So people should not be irrigating when we have these storms come through."
Regulators will decide in January whether to reinstate mandatory conservation measures.