Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Southland residents did their part conserving water in July, with most cities exceeding their conservation mandates as Californians overall dropped their water use by 31.3 percent, compared to the same month two years ago, according to figures released Thursday.

Gov. Jerry Brown has called for an overall 25 percent drop in water use from 2013 totals because of the continuing drought, though individual water suppliers have been assigned varying cutback targets.

In Compton, residents cut their water use by 16.7 percent, well ahead of the 8 percent target set by the state. Pomona residents reduced their use by 31.5 percent, ahead of its 20 percent goal, while South Gate residents reduced by 14.5 percent, beating its 12 percent goal.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced Wednesday that its customers had reduced usage by 21 percent, besting the 16 percent target set by the state.

Cities that do not meet water-conservation goals can face stiff financial penalties. Beverly Hills residents reduced use by 21.6 percent in July, but that was well short of the 32 percent target set by the state. Norwalk reduced water use by 18.5 percent, below the city’s state-set mandate of 20 percent.

Glendora residents, who have a tough 36-percent reduction mandate from the state, exceeded that goal in July, cutting by 38.3 percent. Huntington Beach residents cut by 25.7 percent, ahead of the 20 percent goal; Manhattan Beach was down 23.4 percent, besting the 20 percent goal; and Inglewood reduced by 15.3 percent, ahead of the 12 percent mandate.

“Californians’ response to the severity of the drought this summer is now in high gear and shows that they get that we are in the drought of our lives,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “This isn’t your mother’s drought or your grandmother’s drought, this is the drought of the century.”

In June, water use in El Monte actually increased by nearly 15 percent, but for July, residents cut their usage by 28 percent, well ahead of the city’s 8 percent target. The El Monte City Council went to stage four of its conservation plan earlier this month, banning the irrigation of grass on street medians and limiting watering by residents to two days a week.

“The city of El Monte is effectively conserving water and doing our part to help alleviate the water burden through prudent actions,” Mayor Andre Quintero said. “We hope to be able to decrease our water consumption even more over the next few months.”

—City News Service

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