Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Thanks partly to dry weather that belied the rainy El Nino forecast, water conservation efforts across the state and locally fell short in February, with Department of Water and Power customers reducing their use by just 8.3 percent compared to the same month in 2013, according to figures released Monday.

Since Gov. Jerry Brown’s conservation program took effect last June, DWP customers have reduced use by a cumulative 15.7 percent, just short of the 16 percent reduction mandate set for the agency by the state.

Statewide, residents cut their water use by a cumulative 23.9 percent since June, just shy of the 25 percent statewide reduction called for by Brown. Statewide water use in February was just 12 percent below the baseline year of 2013.

Officials with California Water Boards noted that February was one of the warmest and driest Februaries since the drought began, cutting into the conservation effort. But Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, continued to praise residents for cutting back.

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

Officials noted the state has saved nearly 1.19 million acre-feet of water between June and February, enough to supply more than 5.9 million people for a year.

Marcus urged residents to continue their conservation efforts, noting that March was notably wetter than February, and “we are still hoping for more April showers.”

—City News Service

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