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Citrus Heights Water District: 2015 usage dropped by 37%

Drought, water conservation in Citrus Heights
File photo, local water conservation. // CHSentinel

Updated Jan. 5, 6:30 p.m.–
Citrus Heights Water District customers reduced water use by an average of 37 percent during a six-month reporting period in 2015, according to the latest conservation data released by local water officials.

The latest figures are based on water use between June and November of 2015, with data showing a dip in conservation during September and October, but a return to comparatively high water savings in November. Statewide conservation during the same period hit a significantly lower average of 26.3 percent, compared to 2013 use, according to state water board data released Jan. 5.

[Document: Jan. 5 state water board compliance data]

Water suppliers around the state have varying conservation goals to achieve, ranging from 4 to 36 percent, set by the State Water Resources Control Board to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 1, 2015 executive order mandating a 25 percent statewide cut.

The cumulative 37 percent water savings reported by CHWD beats the District’s state-mandated reduction target of 32 percent by 5 points.

CHWD’s water efficiency coordinator, Rex Meurer, called the latest water usage data “good news,” as he said savings are more difficult to achieve in cooler months. He said customers “should continue to conserve water as much as possible” for the District to meet its cumulative reduction target.

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Following Gov. Brown’s order last year, the state water board began requiring local suppliers to report water use and conservation data each month, beginning in June 2015. The Board releases monthly reports comparing each supplier’s current usage with 2013 water use.

Users served by CHWD, which includes about two-thirds of Citrus Heights, averaged 41 percent water savings in June, followed by 42.5 percent in July, and 38 percent in August. Savings then dropped to 29 percent during September and October, before rising to 37 percent in November, according to data released by the District. California-American Water, which serves most of the remaining portions of Citrus Heights, reported similar cumulative savings of 36 percent from June to November.

The latest state report shows November water conservation across California at an average of 20.3 percent, about 17 percent lower than CHWD and 13 percent lower than average November savings of suppliers in the greater-Sacramento region, according to the Citrus Heights-based Regional Water Authority.

In a news release last month, RWA’s Amy Talbot said one of the “easiest and most important” water-saving actions residents can take is turning off sprinklers until spring.

“Winter’s shorter and typically rainy days mean that landscapes can go without supplemental watering,” Talbot said, while cautioning that trees should not be neglected. “While sprinklers are off, be sure to monitor your trees to ensure they are getting the water they need.”

The news release also highlighted several indoor water savings tips, including only running full loads of laundry and checking for plumbing leaks. An estimated 12.5 gallons of water can also be saved by cutting shower times from 10 minutes down to five, according to the RWA.

Californians have saved over 300 billion gallons of water from June to November 2015, compared to 2013, according to the state water board.

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