At 23.9 percent in water savings, Californians were one percent shy of meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s 25 percent water conservation mandate since obligatory urban conservation efforts began nine months ago, the State Water Resources Control Board announced today.

Officials stated Monday the statewide cumulative savings from June 2015 to February 2016 totaled 23.9 percent compared with the same months in 2013.

“24 percent savings shows enormous effort and a recognition that everyone’s effort matters,” stated Felicia Marcus, chair of the SWRCB. “Californians rose to the occasion, reducing irrigation, fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and saving our precious water resources in all sorts of ways.”

The amount conserved during that time period equates to nearly 1.19 million acre-feet—96 percent saved of the savings goal of 1.24 million acre-feet of water. The amount saved during those nine months is enough to supply more than 5.9 million Californians for a year, or the combined population of San Diego, Riverside and Tulare counties.

While the conservation rate dropped to 12 percent in February from 17.1 percent in January, board officials attributed the decrease to generally less water use during the winter months, so there is less opportunity for high volume, and percentage, savings.

A workshop is scheduled on April 20 by the state water board to assess the needs through the summer and consider adjustments to the current emergency regulations given available water supply, storage and snowpack conditions.

Since June 2015 the state water board has issued 98 warning letters, 118 violation notices, 12 conservation orders, four Administrative Civil Liability complaints, and seven alternative compliance orders, officials stated in a release.

On February 2, 2016 the state water board extended Brown’s November 2015 executive order on emergency regulation which will continue mandatory reductions through October, unless revised before then, according to officials.


Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.