Savings come despite 11 days of 100-degree temperatures
SACRAMENTO– Sacramento-area residents reduced their water use by 23 percent in July compared to the same month in 2013, according to an analysis by the Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sutter counties.
The findings come from a review of July water use data submitted to RWA and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board).
“A 23 percent reduction in a really hot month is outstanding,” said RWA Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot, noting that the savings come even with 11 days of 100-degree temperatures in July, according to the National Weather Service, and the relaxation of state conservation mandates.
The State Water Board in May adopted new emergency water conservation regulations that allow water utilities to set their conservation standard based upon local water supply conditions and the utility’s ability to meet customer demand in the next three years if drought continued. Past planning and investments in water supply and efficiency allowed all 22 Sacramento-area water providers to certify that they have adequate supplies so that state-mandated conservation targets are no longer necessary.
Most water providers are continuing to ask customers to voluntarily reduce water use, maintaining funding for water conservation programs at 2015 drought levels and continuing to enforce water waste regulations, according to an RWA member survey.
“The July water reductions demonstrate that efficient water use and eliminating waste remain a priority for local water providers and their customers,” Talbot said. “Time and again, residents have demonstrated their willingness to do their part.”
July’s 23 percent voluntary savings is on par with a 22 percent voluntary savings achieved by the Sacramento region in July 2014 prior to state mandates—a more accurate comparison than evaluating current voluntary reductions against last year’s mandatory reductions.
John Woodling, RWA’s Executive Director, summed up the water savings results, “The reliability of the region’s water supplies in the face of drought coupled with the commitment from water providers and customers to reduce water use are a winning combination,” Woodling said. “The July results validate the state’s decision to put local agencies back in the driver’s seat on conservation this year.”
Learn tips for reducing water use and information about rebate programs to help residents save water at BeWaterSmart.info.
About the Regional Water Authority: RWA is a joint powers authority representing two dozen water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento area. Its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources.