Californians Have Reduced Water Consumption 28% as Drought Persists

Urban Californians reduced residential water use by 28 percent in May, compared with the same month in 2013, the State Water Resources Control Board says.

Cumulatively, local water suppliers have saved 1.6 million acre feet in the 12 months since mandatory conservation for non-farm users began – enough water to supply eight million people for a year.

“The phenomenal ongoing water conservation by state residents as we enter the hottest summer months clearly shows Californians understand we remain in stubborn drought conditions statewide and that saving water is just the smart thing to do,” says State Water Board Chairman Felicia Marcus.

Ms. Marcus says that while conditions improved for urban California’s water supply with the rain and snow of the past winter, the state is still largely in drought conditions.

Although new regulations taking effect in June give local water suppliers more autonomy to set their own conservation goals based on local supply conditions, the State Water Board says it expects suppliers to continue to make water conservation a top priority.

Despite near average rainfall in much of Northern California this past winter, 60 percent of the state remains in severe or extreme drought. Groundwater basins and many reservoirs are badly depleted as the state’s drought grinds into a fifth year.

Statewide water savings for May was 28.2 percent (176,947 acre feet or 57.7 billion gallons), an increase from April 2016’s savings of 26.1 percent, the board says.

Cumulatively, the statewide percent reduction for the twelve months from June 2015 to May 2016 was 24.5 percent, which equates to 1,609,532 acre-feet (524.5 billion gallons).

The level of compliance also increased in May, with 72 percent of suppliers meeting or within one percentage point of their conservation standards and 16 percent within five percentage points of the conservation standard.

Source: Central Valley Business Times

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