Environment

Where is California water use decreasing?

Produced by Molly Peterson, Aaron Mendelson & Chris Keller | Updated June 2, 2015

With the help of a wetter and cooler month than two years ago, California’s urban water agencies cut their use 13.5 percent in April this year, according to new data released by the State Water Resources Control Board.

That’s an improvement over the three previous months’ efforts at saving water. But regulators characterize cumulative savings by city dwellers at just 9 percent during the first 11 months of tracking urban use, less than halfway to the governor’s conservation goal.

In April, the South Coast region — which includes much of coastal Southern California and San Diego County — saved 8.7 percent compared to its used two years ago during the same month, slightly less than the state average. Some regional highlights:

The city of Los Angeles saved 10 percent, with an average of 75 gallons used per person per day. Long Beach saved 6 percent compared to two years earlier, but averaged 65 gallons a person a day.

Regulators acknowledged ongoing challenges in analyzing data, 11 months into mandatory water use reporting. More than half of water suppliers have revised the data on water use they’ve submitted to the state, which in some cases could change the percentage by which they are required to reduce under new rules that took effect Monday.

The State Water Board is currently reviewing new data submitted by over 200 urban water suppliers. The revised data, if accepted, will change the conservation standard for some water suppliers. The board expects to publish the final conservation standards for all 411 urban water suppliers by the end of the week.

Choose your water agency

About the data: These charts show the daily per capita residential water use rate in California as calculated by the State Water Resources Control Board. The charts cover the April 2015 reporting period, and compared to the baseline measure from the same month in 2013. Since the per capita measure (which reflects gallons of water used per resident per day) does not take into account rainfall, temperature, humidity and population density, the State Water Resources Control Board discourages comparisons between water suppliers.

Central Coast

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 69.99 gallons in the Central Coast hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 64.07. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 29 agencies in this region performed.

Colorado River

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 160.94 gallons in the Colorado River hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 157.21. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 15 agencies in this region performed.

North Coast

Daily per capita residential water use decreased in April 2015 to an average of 60.68 gallons in the North Coast hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 62.66. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 14 agencies in this region performed.

North Lahontan

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 63.79 gallons in the North Lahontan hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 58.39. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 4 agencies in this region performed.

Sacramento River

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 103.43 gallons in the Sacramento River hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 101.25. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 42 agencies in this region performed.

San Francisco Bay

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 65.81 gallons in the San Francisco Bay hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 63.37. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 45 agencies in this region performed.

San Joaquin River

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 106.42 gallons in the San Joaquin River hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 96.33. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 28 agencies in this region performed.

South Coast

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 90.77 gallons in the South Coast hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 85.08. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 174 agencies in this region performed.

South Lahontan

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 117.19 gallons in the South Lahontan hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 93.55. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 16 agencies in this region performed.

Tulare Lake

Daily per capita residential water use increased in April 2015 to an average of 128.64 gallons in the Tulare Lake hydrologic region. That number is compared to the March 2015 daily per capita residential water use of 102.06. Click here to see proposed reductions for this region. Use the chart below to see how the 28 agencies in this region performed.

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