Conservation numbers improve (August 28, 2015)

Barstow, Apple Valley top performers; Hesperia barely misses target

SACRAMENTO — Californians exceeded the statewide conservation mandate for the second month in a row in July and reduced water consumption by 31.3 percent, according to a report released Thursday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Barstow and Apple Valley were the top-performing local cities, according to the report. Golden State Water Company customers in Barstow reduced water use by 30.9 percent while Apple Valley Ranchos Water customers reduced usage by 33.1 percent.

Ranchos’ state mandate — 28 percent — is slightly higher than Golden State’s in Barstow — 24 percent — so despite Ranchos’ higher overall reduction percentage, Barstow customers outperformed Apple Valley’s by nearly two percent based on their respective conservation standards. Golden State Water also serves a portion of Apple Valley.

Our Barstow customers deserve praise for not only meeting but exceeding the reduction mandate from the state, Mountain-Desert General Manager for Golden State Water Perry Dahlstrom said. Customers have limited outdoor irrigation to comply with local restrictions, and that’s been a key factor in achieving the conservation goal.

Apple Valley Ranchos General Manager Tony Penna told the Daily Press reducing water use is the prudent thing to do and the vast majority of Ranchos Water customers have responded in the appropriate fashion.

Water supply reliability is essential to our way of life in the High Desert and no one knows for certain when this historic drought will end, Penna said via email. We remain committed to working with all of our customers to assist them in achieving the collective goal of managing this precious resource to ensure our viability of our community.

Phelan and Adelanto were again the lowest performers in the area; however, customers in both areas used significantly less water in July compared to June.

Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District customers reduced water use by 16 percent in July, according to the report, missing the community’s 32 percent reduction mandate.

Despite missing the standard by the widest margin in the High Desert, customers in Phelan and Pinon Hills did increase conservation by 10.5 percentage points compared to the numbers released in June.

The Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District recently switched to monthly billing, which gives customers a more accurate reading of their consumption numbers, officials said.

Numerous community meetings have been held in Phelan to address water conservation, and the district has provided free mulch to customers to help reduce water use in orchards, according to officials.

Adelanto customers increased their conservation numbers from 3.6 percent in June to 10 percent in July, but still fell 10 points short of the city’s 20 percent standard.

Victorville, Spring Valley Lake, and San Bernardino County Service Area 70 — which includes Oak Hills — all reduced water use at numbers slightly above their goals.

Hesperia customers barely missed their standard by 3.9 points, according to the report.

More than 74 billion gallons of water were saved in July, moving the State 228,940 acre-feet closer to the goal established by Governor Jerry Brown’s April 1 Executive Order of saving 1.2 million acre-feet by February 2016, the report said.

Cumulative savings for June and July stand at 414,800 acre-feet, which is 35 percent of the savings goal.

Source: Matthew Cabe,