Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers cut their water use by 21.8 percent in September, compared to the same month two years ago, exceeding the conservation mandate set for the agency by the state, according to figures in a recently released report. The city of Beverly Hills, however, fell well short of its mandated goal, and is facing a hefty fine. Statewide, residents cut their water use by 26.1 percent in September, compared to the baseline year of 2013.
That bested Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for an overall 25 percent drop in statewide water use.
Individual cities and water agencies throughout the state were assigned varying conservation mandates based on their historical usage amounts.
“Millions of Californians have saved water during the summer months, which are the four most critical months to save water,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “This is important and wonderful, and we are thankful for all of the effort by individuals and agencies. Now we need to keep it up as best we can, even as we hope for as much rain and snow as we can safely handle.
“We’re in the position of having to prepare for drought and flooding at the same time, but that’s what we’re faced with,” she said.
While the news was generally good across the state, several Southern California areas were faulted by the state for failing to meet their conservation goals, including the city of Beverly Hills, which was fined $61,000 for falling short. Indio, Redlands and the Coachella Valley Water District were also assessed the same fine.
“Up and down the state, residents and water suppliers are making the necessary sacrifices needed to help California meet its conservation goals,” said Cris Carrigan, state director of the Office of Enforcement. “However, some urban water suppliers simply have not met the requirements laid before them. For these four suppliers, it’s been too little too late to achieve their conservation standard.”
The suppliers have 20 days to appeal the penalties to the full State Water Board. According to the state, Beverly Hills residents cut their water use by 20.5 percent in September, compared to the same month in 2013. That’s well short of the state-mandated conservation rate of 32 percent. From June to September, the city’s water use has dropped by 20.4 percent compared to two years ago.