Most central San Joaquin Valley water suppliers met their water conservation mandates in May.
In the third month of lower water-use mandates, 14 of 21 suppliers in the Valley achieved water-saving goals set by the state.
Statewide, Californians also were successful in conserving water.
Residential water use decreased by 28 percent in May, compared with the same month in 2013. And cumulatively, the statewide reduction for the 12 months from June 2015 to May 2016 was 24.5 percent, the State Water Resources Control Board said Wednesday. Overall, residents saved 1.6 million acre-feet of water since mandatory conservation standards began – enough water to supply 8 million people for a year.
1.6 million acre-feet Water saved by Californians from June 2015 to May 2016
Fresno residents saved 32.2 percent in May, exceeding the city’s mandate of 25 percent. Cumulatively, the city saved 27.5 percent since the rules went into effect, also beating the state’s conservation goal.
Officials with Fresno’s public utilities department were unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Clovis, which had a 33 percent conservation mandate, saved 35.2 percent in May. The city fell short cumulatively of meeting its objective, cutting water use by 31 percent.
Lisa Koehn, assistant public utilities director for Clovis, said customers continued water conservation efforts in May. “They did a really good job,” she said. Plus, the weather in May cooperated, she said. “It was not until June that we were into the really high temperatures.”
May was the last month cities had to comply with state standards. Beginning last month, suppliers who could prove they have enough water to meet the needs of their communities for the next three years were allowed to craft conservation measures for their communities.
Clovis has taken advantage of the state reprieve, allowing residents to water lawns three days a week this summer compared to the two-day watering rule that the city imposed last spring.
Rain or shine, drought or no drought, state mandated target or not, Californians should keep conserving.
State Water Resources Control Board
“We have enough supply this year,” Koehn said. “We’re getting more surface water, and we’ve got our surface water-treatment plant going full bore.” And the city also is banking water by keeping its surface recharge facility full, she said.
The state water board cautioned cities about loosening conservation goals. It expects suppliers to continue to make water conservation a top priority this summer.
“Rain or shine, drought or no drought, state mandated target or not, Californians should keep conserving,” the board said. “While conditions improved for urban California’s water supply with rain and snow we got last year, we are still largely in drought and saving water can extend urban water supplies off into the future if this next winter is dry again.”
Koehn said Clovis residents can still be busted for watering on the wrong day or for wasting water. The city also will maintain a one-day-a-week winter watering rule starting this November, she said. “It seems like that was a fairly easy thing for people to do.”
May water savings
saved (vs. 2013)
(05/16 vs. 05/13)
Bakman Water Co.
Pinedale Co. Water Dist.
Source: State Water Resources Control Board