California’s worsening drought hasn’t stopped its residents from continuing to spend large amounts of water.
Data shows residents actually used more water in March than in any month since 2015. This runs counter to calls for conservation or savings in water use by Governor Gavin Newsom and other authorities, state officials announced Tuesday. ).
Water use jumped nearly 19 percent in March compared to 2020, which was one of the driest months on record.
Governor Newsom last summer asked residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent compared to 2020. He encouraged residents to reduce watering gaps in their yards, reduce the use of dishwashers, and install more efficient appliances.
The state’s conservation level is gradually increasing, helped by several intense fall and early winter storms, which reduce water demand.
But the first three months of 2022 were the driest on record. Water use increased slightly in January and February before peaking in March compared to 2020 figures.
Since July, the state has reduced its overall water use by just 3.7 percent.
Newsom responded to the news by pledging an additional $26 million for water conservation programs, in addition to the $190 million he proposed in January.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced residents and businesses should reduce watering of outdoor gardens from three days to two days per week. Irrigation accounts for 35 percent of the city’s water use.
A series of hurricanes in April did little to improve the drought that has hit since March. However, water reserves in most of the state’s reservoirs are well below their historical average. The reservoirs depend on melting snow to fill the dry summer months, but the statewide snowfall was only 27 percent of its historical average on April 1. [my/lt]
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