California cities cut their water usage by 29% in May compared with two years earlier. That’s the steepest drop since Governor Jerry Brown called on residents to help conserve water, regulators said Wednesday.
State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said the results show that Californians are doing their part to pair back their usage as the state faces a record-breaking drought. Though, a portion of the decreased water consumption could also be a credit to recent rains in certain areas.
The top water-saving areas were Sacrament Suburban Water District (45%), Lake Hemet Municipal Water District in Riverside County (49%) and Serrano Water District in Orange County (43%).
May’s water conservation rate is a significant jump from the month prior when California cities notched a 13.5% conservation rate. The May report is the last month before new statewide conservation standards are in effect and measured.
The state’s water-saving directives have been facing stiff legal push back after Governor Brown ordered a 25% reduction in urban water use in April. Riverside, a town about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, is the first to sue the state, saying that the restrictions inordinately affect the community. Other lawsuits have been filed by water districts, primarily in California’s profitable agricultural areas.