California Water Usage Drops 27% in June, Exceeding 25% Mandate

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Landscaper Miguel Herrera waters the front lawn of a home on Alta Drive in Beverly Hills in April. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Urban water use in California dropped by 27% in June, according to figures released Thursday by the State Water Resources Control Board

June is the first month that urban water districts must meet mandatory conservation targets in order to comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought order. Suppliers that did not reduce their water consumption by a large enough amount could face fines of as much as $10,000.

Brown is requiring urban water users to reduce water use 25% by the end of February — the first mandatory water rationing in California history.

In order to meet that requirement, the State Water Resources Control Board assigned each of California’s 411 urban water districts a “conservation standard.” Under the state board’s plan, some water suppliers with a history of high use must slash their water consumption by as much as 36% versus that in 2013. Other water districts with a history of low water use must cut consumption by as little as 4%.

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