Conservation numbers drop (October 2, 2015)

August efforts remain above governor’s 25 percent mandate

SACRAMENTO — The newly released statewide water conservation numbers dipped four points below July’s water reduction of 31.3 percent, but Californians still reduced consumption by 27 percent in August and exceeded Gov.JerryBrown’s mandate of 25 percent for the third straight month, according to a report released Thursday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The report called the four percentage point decrease concerning, but added that the 27 percent monthly savings is more than twice the 12 percent saved for the same month in 2014. Savings are expected to incrementally increase as California enters the cooler fall months, the report said.

Apple Valley Ranchos Water customers continue to set the local conservation standard, according to the report, as they reduced water use in August by 32.4 percent, more than four points above their 28 percent target.

Since 2007, Ranchos customers have reduced water consumption by 50 percent, according to Apple Valley Ranchos General Manager Tony Penna, and he attributed the reduction to an awareness of the severity of the current drought.

Our customers are paying attention and learning the value of conservation, Penna told the Daily Press.

Penna said Ranchos’ radio campaign offering conservation options has evolved as awareness spreads. Spots currently running on local radio stations now include conservation testimonials from Ranchos customers who detail personal conservation efforts.

Ranchos estimated a 33 percent reduction in water use for September, officials said.

Customers in San Bernardino County Service Area 70, which includes Spring Valley Lake, Oak Hills and parts of Victorville, reduced usage by 30.6 percent — 2.6 points above their standard.

Golden State Water Company customers in Barstow followed the statewide trend by conserving less water in August, according to the report. Barstow customers reduced consumption by 27.8 percent, which is a little more than 3 points lower than their July efforts but still above their 24 percent standard.

Victorville customers reduced their use by 28.7 percent and were the only other local customers who exceeded their conservation standard, which is 28 percent.

Hesperia customers failed to meet their 32 percent standard for the third straight month, reducing water use by 25 percent in August — a full 7 points below the standard and more than 3 points below last month’s numbers, according to the report.

Adelanto and Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District customers remained the lowest performers in the area, however, the report shows both have significantly improved their conservation numbers.

In July, Adelanto customers reduced water use by 10 percent. They increased that to 13.6 percent in August, falling 6.4 points short of their standard.

Similarly, Phelan Pinon Hills Community Services District customers increased conservation efforts, but their 17.1 percent effort shows only a 1.1 point increase compared to lastmonth’snumbers.They remain nearly 15 points shy of their 32 percent standard.

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, officials said in a previous Daily Press report.

While the decrease in conservation across the state from July to August signaled a slight rise in consumption, the 27 percent reduction did increase water saved statewide to 611,566 acre-feet of water. That’s 51 percent of the overall goal of 1.2 million acre-feet that must be saved by February 2016, as calledforbyBrown’sApril1 Executive order, the report said.

Source: Matthew Cabe, Daily Press