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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / California Water Use Drops 27.3 Percent, Exceeds 25 Percent Mandate for June

California Water Use Drops 27.3 Percent, Exceeds 25 Percent Mandate for June

by Pasadena Independent
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Isabella Lake is disappearing right before Californian’s eyes, and some Kern River Valley residents are really worried. This fishing boat sank years ago and now serves as a graphic example of how bad California’s drought is.. - Photo by Ted Jorgensen

Isabella Lake is disappearing right before Californian’s eyes, and some Kern River Valley residents are really worried. This fishing boat sank years ago and now serves as a graphic example of how bad California’s drought is.. – Photo by Ted Jorgensen

San Gabriel Valley Water Company Reduced Water Use by 35% in June

By Terry Miller

What Speaker of the House John Boehner failed to realize a couple of weeks ago when he attacked Arcadia for its water conservation efforts was that in California, we care about conservation.
In mid-June we shared with our readers a photo depicting Arcadia’s efforts to reduce water usage.
Here’s what Speaker John Boehner posted on his Facebook page: “If ever there was a phrase that perfectly encapsulates liberal environmentalists’ backwards priorities and regressive ideology of restriction and scarcity, it is the one now displayed on a government sign in Arcadia, California: ‘It’s ‘green’ to go brown.’”

Arcadia’s illustrious city manager, Dominic Lazaretto, had this marvelous quip to the Speaker’s absurd remarks: “If the Speaker would like to send Arcadia the thousands of acre-feet of water we would need to be able to keep our lawns green, I will happily accept them. Otherwise, Arcadia will continue to do its part to ensure that our residents have enough water to drink until the drought breaks.”

Arcadia’s Mayor, Gary Kovacic, added this comment: “If the Speaker’s perpetual golf game ever brings him to Santa Anita Golf Course, perhaps he will understand the true facts about our drought and Arcadia’s tremendous efforts to conserve.”

This being an aside, California is making major strides in reducing usage: The Governor’s office this week released some encouraging stats that prove that while in a historic drought, California can still save water.

With record-breaking heat throughout much of the State in June, Californians continued to conserve water, reducing water use by 27.3 percent and exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent mandate in the first month that the new emergency conservation regulation was in effect.

“Californians understand the severity of the drought and they are taking action, as shown by the numbers released today,” said Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “We didn’t know if the positive showing in May was due in part to cooler temperatures. This report shows that residents knew they had to keep conserving even during the summer heat and they kept the sprinklers off more than they would in a normal year. That’s the right attitude as we head into August and September heat–in the drought of the century with no certain end date.”

Despite being the hottest June on record, California’s urban water suppliers exceeded the statewide conservation goal, saving 59.4 billion gallons (182,151 acre-feet), as compared to the same time in 2013. June conservation efforts put the State on track to achieve the 1.2 million acre feet savings goal by February 2016, as called for by the Governor in his April 1 Executive Order.

Water suppliers have made significant Investments in their education and outreach programs to communicate the need to conserve to their customers. June’s enforcement statistics highlight the growing awareness of how water is used locally as a result of these programs. Water suppliers reported that their compliance and enforcement programs saw an almost two-fold increase in the number of complaints of water waste which resulted in a big jump in reported penalties.

Monthly water use reports are required by the emergency water conservation regulation, and are provided to the State Water Board by urban water suppliers. 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.

June Highlights:
The percent of water saved by the State’s large urban water agency suppliers decreased from 29.1 percent in May to 27.3 percent in June, in same-month water use comparisons of 2015 to 2013. June 2015 was the warmest June on record.
The amount of water saved in June 2015 (59.4 billion gallons) is six times more than the amount of water saved during the same month in 2014 (9.6 billion gallons), when the State’s voluntary 20 percent conservation goal was in effect.
The June 2015 savings are 15 percent of the statewide savings goal of 1.2 million acre feet of water needed by February 2016.
265 water suppliers, serving 27.2 million people met or exceeded their conservation standard. Almost 40 percent of all urban water suppliers reduced their water use by 30 percent or more.
In April, water suppliers began reporting on their compliance and enforcement efforts to promote conservation and reduce water waste. The June statistics demonstrate community and water supplier commitment to identify and correct wasteful practices:
43,942 water waste complaints were reported statewide (by 371 suppliers), compared with 28,793 complaints reported in May (by 353 suppliers);
35,295 formal warnings were issued for water waste statewide (by 307 suppliers), compared with 36,082 formal warnings in May (by 279 suppliers); and
9,582 penalties were issued statewide (by 52 suppliers), compared with 1,928 penalties issued in May (by 49 suppliers).

By the end of June, four suppliers (one percent) had not imposed mandatory irrigation restrictions, and 19 suppliers (five percent) reported that they still allow outdoor watering seven days a week.

“In normal years, water use rises dramatically in the hot summer months. But this year, during the hottest June on record, Californians proved that that they have the ingenuity and commitment to meet this challenge,” said Marcus. “Agencies have stepped up to the plate to engage with their customers and it shows. The public knows how bad the drought is, and agencies need to help them know what to do. Letting lawns go golden, taking shorter showers, and other actions can pay off in greater urban water security in the event of more dry years, but, at the same time, we need to be clear that trees should be watered.”

Dozens of communities achieved conservation levels of more than 30 percent in June 2015. Suppliers demonstrating remarkable performance included:

San Gabriel Valley Water Company – reduced water use by 35 percent in June, 1.5 times greater than the 23 percent reduction recorded in May. San Gabriel Valley’s Stage 2 drought restrictions and penalties were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission on June 22, 2015.

 

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