Thursday August 4, 2022

The Orange County Register

After months of failing to conserve water, Californians are finally starting to make significant progress as the state’s three-year drought worsens, summer heats up and local agencies are increasing rules and penalties for water wasters.

New numbers out Tuesday showed that statewide, California’s urban residents cut water use 7.6% in June compared to June 2020, the baseline year.

That’s still short of the 15% goal that Gov. Gavin Newsom set last July. But it is a considerable jump from the 3.1% savings in May compared with May 2020. And it is a major change from March and April, when residents cranked up lawn sprinklers during an unseasonably dry spring, actually increasing water use statewide by 18.7% and 17.8% compared to those months two years ago.

“The numbers are an improvement to say the least,” said Joaquin Esquivel, chairman of the State Water Resources Control Board, which released the monthly data on Tuesday. “In March and April, we saw increased usage, and here in June we are starting to see a real response.”

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