California water consumption drops

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LOS ANGELES: Water consumption dropped 13.5 percent in California in April compared to the same month a year ago, as the western US state fights a debilitating drought with mandatory cuts.

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The decrease is far less than the 25 percent conservation rate ordered by Governor Jerry Brown, though still much higher than in previous months, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

But the figures fail to show the uneven consumption between different areas, with some regions showing big drops, while others, compared to others like El Segundo, which saw a 35 percent increase in its water use.

“While these results are a step in the right direction, there are still too many lush landscapes where irrigation must be reduced to meet the 25 percent statewide reduction mandate,” State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus said in a statement.

“We see conservation gains in all regions of the state, but we don’t know whether it was because of cooler weather or concerted action.”

Los Angeles has launched surcharges that double normal water prices for clients in three zones, including the affluent beach city of Malibu home to many stars’ luxurious homes, which have not respected 30 percent mandatory cuts.

Residential water cuts were set at 36 percent.

“The real test will be what happens as we move into the hot and dry summer months, when we need to keep the sprinklers off as much as possible,” added Marcus.

AFP

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