A torrid June, but water usage cut

A suburban home with a lawn that hasn't been watered in months. (Photo: Suzanne Tucker, via Shutterstock)

Despite the hottest June on record, Californians cut back on their water use statewide by by 27.3 percent statewide compared with June 2013, a reduction that exceeded the level ordered in the governor’s emergency drought regulations.

The cut in usage amounted to more than 182,000 acre-feet of water, or about 59.4 billion gallons by urban water suppliers. An acre-foot — enough to meet the annual needs of a family of four —  is the amount of water required to cover one acre at a depth of one foot, or nearly 326,000 gallons.

The reduction was six times that of June 2014, when usage was cut by estimated 9.6 billion gallons over the previous June.

State water officials said the June reduction meant California was on track to hit its target of cutting back by 1.2 million acre-feet through next April.  The June cutbacks amount to about 15 percent of the target reduction. Some 265 water agencies and supplier serving about 27.2 million people “met or exceeded their conservation standard,” the state noted. “Almost 40 percent of all urban water suppliers reduced their water use by 30 percent or more.”

California residents, “knew they had to keep conserving,” Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, said in a written statement. “That’s the right attitude as we head into August and September heat — in the drought of the century with no certain end date.”

According to the state, last month’s reduction was six times that of June 2014, when usage was cut by estimated 9.6 billion gallons over the previous June. At the time, authorities had asked for a 20 percent voluntary reduction.

The latest figures come amid the worst California drought on record, now in its fourth year.

Four water suppliers, about 1 percent of the total, had not imposed mandatory restrictions on irrigation and 19 suppliers, or 5 percent, said they continued to allow outdoor watering seven days a week.

The state’s statement on water consumption can be viewed here.  The data on the performance during June can be seen here. 


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