California's water savings reach near 19 percent in November

Most of the state is still experiencing drought conditions.

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Pr010417 November Conservation

SACRAMENTO, CA, JANUARY 5, 2017 -- The California State Water Resources Control Board announced that urban Californians' monthly water conservation was 18.8 percent in November 2016, a decrease from 19.6 percent in October and below the 20.2 percent savings in November 2015, when state-mandated conservation targets were in place. The State Water Board stressed the need for continued conservation given that Central and Southern California remain in drought conditions and the statewide snowpack is below average despite recent storms.

The cumulative statewide savings from June 2015 through November 2016 remains at 22.6 percent, compared with the same months in 2013. Since June 2015, 2.35 million acre-feet of water has been saved -- enough water to supply more than 11 million people, or more than one-quarter the state's population, for a year.

Although October through December rains in Northern California provided an encouraging start to the 2016-2017 water year (Oct. 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2017), much of the state has not recovered from the severe drought conditions that have persisted for the past four years. Moreover, measurements by the Department of Water Resources indicate that the statewide snowpack is about 70 percent of average for early January.

The State Water Board will continue to monitor conservation levels and water supply conditions, and will present a staff proposal to extend emergency conservation regulations for public discussion on Jan. 18. The proposal may include a return to state-mandated conservation targets if dry conditions return or if conservation levels slip significantly. The Board won't be acting on the staff proposals on Jan. 18; staff will be bringing a proposal to the Board for consideration in February after taking into account comments from the Jan. 18 public workshop.

"Californians are continuing to conserve, which is the way it should be, given that we can't know what the future will bring but we know that we can't take water for granted anymore," said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. "It was especially good to see another month of impressive increases in conservation in northern California.

"With climate change already creating water supply challenges that will only get worse and State population projected to exceed 40 million by 2020, we all need to become more efficient with our limited water supplies year in and year out. Increased water efficiency coupled with new storage, recycling, stormwater capture and other measures is going to make us more resilient over the long term," said Marcus.

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California has been dealing with the effects of an unprecedented drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at While saving water, it is important to properly water trees. Find out how at In addition to many effective local programs, state-funded turf removal and toilet replacement rebates are also available. Information and rebate applications can be found at:

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