SACRAMENTO (KRON) — Californians reduced water use by nearly 27 percent during August, exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent conservation mandate for a third straight month.
“Millions of Californians stepped up to save water this summer and we must all keep up the good work because no one knows how much longer this historic drought will continue,” said Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.
“With continued heat, the danger of more wildfires, and no way of knowing when the drought will end, every drop of water that remains in our local reservoirs and aquifers is insurance in case of another dry year or more.”
While August’s conservation was good, July was better. August conservation rate was down from July’s record effort of 31.4 percent water savings. And as California enters the cool fall months, when water use traditionally drops, overall savings will likely be more incremental.
Cumulative savings for the summer, despite hot and dry conditions, puts the state half-way to meeting its goal of 1.2 million acre-feet of water saved by February 2016.
State Water Resources Control Board officials stressed that it will take persistence on the part of urban water users, now and into winter, to meet this goal.
Residential water users are urged to keep up their efforts to conserve and comply with urban water supplier directives to switch to fall watering schedules of once a week or less — to maintain water conservation through the winter.
For June, July, and August the cumulative statewide savings rate was 28.7 percent. That equals to about 611,566 acre-feet of water saved — 51 percent of the overall goal of saving 1.2 million acre-feet from June 2015 to February 2016, as called for by the Governor in his April 1 Executive Order.
Saving water in the hot summer months is critical to meeting the goal, as summer is when the greatest amount of water is traditionally used, particularly on outdoor ornamental landscapes.
Conservation programs put in place during the late spring and early summer months by most of the state’s water suppliers are now in full swing, yielding dramatic reductions in water use and a reexamination of personal habits related to water.
In addition to many effective local programs, state-funded turf removal and toilet replacement rebates are also now available. Information and rebate applications are available at website.
With dry conditions forecast to continue through November, the focus remains not only on enhancing current efforts, but on encouraging suppliers that are behind to make the commitment to conservation and meet or beat their targets.
The emergency water conservation regulation requires urban water suppliers to save a targeted amount of water based upon their usage levels (those who already use less per capita have lower targets) and to provide monthly water use reports to the State Water Board.
Urban water suppliers are expected to meet, or exceed, their individual conservation standard starting in June and continuing through February 2016.
The year 2013 serves as the baseline for determining water savings statewide. The current report is posted at the following website
August’s Top Performers
Stand-out communities during August maintained or surpassed their July conservation savings. The list of top performers includes Joshua Basin Water District (Colorado River), CrescentCity (NorthCoast), and the City of Red Bluff (Sacramento River).
These high achievers continue to represent both inland and coastal communities, proving that significant savings can be achieved wherever you are. Suppliers demonstrating remarkable performance included:
- City of Morgan Hill – reduced water use by 42.5 percent in August, bringing the City’s cumulative savings to 40.2 percent, well over its 28 percent conservation standard.
- City of El Monte – reduced water use by 22.9 percent in August, bringing the City’s cumulative savings to 15.9 percent, twice its 8 percent conservation standard
- City of Lakewood– reduced water use by 30 percent in August, bringing the City’s cumulative savings to 29 percent, well over its 20 percent conservation standard.
- California Water Service Company Selma – reduced water use by 40.0 percent in August, bringing the supplier’s cumulative savings to 41.5 percent, well over its 32 percent conservation standard.