County’s water usage drops despite higher temps

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Water Faucet

SAN DIEGO — Water use in the region dropped 6 percent last month, compared with the same period in 2013, even though temperatures were warmer than average, the San Diego County Water Authority reported Thursday.

County water officials called the reduction a sign that conservation efforts are expanding to combat serious drought conditions across California. Water use had been up by 10 percent earlier this year, and by small margins in June and July.

August was the first month after the water authority’s Board of Directors called for mandatory conservation measures to keep as much water as possible in storage for next year.

The 24 agencies belonging to the CWA have been adopting mandatory water- use restrictions in recent weeks — if they didn’t already have them in place.

“San Diego County residents have really stepped up, and collective water-saving efforts are making a positive impact as we prepare for the possibility of another dry year ahead,” said Thomas Wornham, the chairman of the water authority board. “It’s critical that we all continue to look for more ways to conserve — particularly outdoors — so we can carry this momentum into the fall and winter.”

The year-over-year reduction in potable water use is based on figures reported to the authority by member agencies. The savings is approximately 1.2 billion gallons — enough to serve about 20,000 residents for a year.

In the city of San Diego, residents cut back on water use by 4.2 percent.

“A 4.2 percent reduction is a positive beginning to increased conservation efforts, on top of what we have already achieved in years past,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “These numbers are testament to the fact that San Diegans understand the importance of conserving this valuable resource.”

According to the county water authority, the August reduction happened even though average temperatures were a couple of degrees warmer than normal. The month the figure was compared to, August 2013, was actually a little cooler than normal.

San Diego County residents have reduced their use of water 20 percent since 2007.