California Cut Water Use By 10% In July

California Cut Water Use By 10% In July

California reduced water use 10.4% in July from two years ago, according to state water authorities.

There were new conservation regulations that took effect in July for the first time for an entire month, such as not allowing any watering of ornamental grass.

Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom had asked the state to cut water use 15% in the summer of 2021.

The State Water Resources Control Board put out the monthly amounts, which come from information provided to them from urban water suppliers.

“Last summer the savings numbers were slow to ramp up because the governor’s call had just gone into effect. But the most recent numbers show how far we’ve come,” Marielle Rhodeiro, a research data expert with the board, said. “We can see some achievements — quite heartening.”

On average, California residents used 104 gallons each day in the month of July, which is 12 gallons less per day than a year prior. The amount reflected the least amount of water use in July since the same month in 2015 when mandatory cuts were enforced. At that time, water use declined to 98 gallons per person each day.

“What a ride it’s been,” board chairman E. Joaquin Esquivel said.

“We know that we need to keep the momentum going,” he noted later, saying that California is probably going to have another winter with less rain and snow than normal.

The major reservoirs in the state, which mainly rely on snow from the Sierra Nevada, are far lower than their historical averages; and the snowpack in the state was only at 27% of its historic averages as of the beginning of April, according to Bloomberg.

“Things are in general significantly below historic averages,” Eric Ekdahl, deputy director for water rights, said to the board. “That trend is continuing, and there’s no clear precipitation on the horizon, with maybe the exception of Southern California, which may see some tropical moisture toward the end of the week.”

The Central Valley, which is comprised of much of the state’s farmland and agricultural production, is currently in an exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In 2021, farms received less water due to reductions put in place to give water to others and help the environment, the Public Policy Institute of California reported in an April brief. The report noted that less watering can lead to a drop in crop production, which has far-reaching impacts. It estimated that the drought and crop declines have resulted in the loss of $1.7 billion in profit and 14,600 jobs.