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California Saved More Water Than It Had To

The State of California instituted a law which mandated a 25% cut in water use. People and businesses did better than that, with a drop in use of 27.3% in June. If drought in the region stays the same as it is now, or worsens, the benefit of the restrictions may not matter much.

According to The State Water Board:

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.


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.

Despite skepticism about whether Brown could meet his goal so quickly, the skeptics were wrong.

However, a look at the carefully followed nationwide “The Drought Monitor” shows 36% of California suffers “exceptional drought”, the worst designation. Over 71% suffers from either “exceptional drought” or the next worse designation–“extreme drought”. And,

While the rains in southern California during the past couple weeks have caused local flooding and inhibited wildfire development, reservoirs saw no increase in storage.

And, storage is the most important measure of whether people and businesses get any relief, and the ability to use more water instead of adhering to the difficult 25% guidelines.

The “U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook” shows that for the period which extends to October 31, the California can expect what is labeled”drought persists or worsens”

In other words, water conservation levels of 27.3% won’t come close to stopping the catastrophe. June has come, and gone

By Douglas A. McIntyre