In May, which marked the last month of mandatory water restrictions in California, the state’s residents have been even more zealous than the governor when it came to cutting water. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown urged Californians to try and achieve a reduction in water consumption of 25 percent, but in May residents reduced they water needs by 28 percent.
As of June, each city and municipal agency will be allowed to set their own water restrictions based on local water supply and demand. State agencies urged counties to perform “stress tests” on their water supply before they deem necessary restrictions.
Any water district that can prove its water supply is enough to meet its residents’ needs in case the drought continues for 36 more months is exempted from mandatory water cutbacks.
Water districts were expected to send the results of tests to a state agency in June. The State Water Resources Control Board which centralizes the data has yet to disclose the results but many districts including that in Los Angeles said that mandatory restrictions are no longer necessary in their area.
Governor Brown ordered statewide water restrictions last spring in an effort to raise awareness among Californians about the severity of the state’s historic drought. Prior to Brown’s 25 percent target, there had been a 20 percent goal which has never achieved.
Still although May figures were a encouraging, the overall water reduction slated for the entire year missed Brown’s target by a tenth of a percent. However, that didn’t stop the water board to celebrate the mandatory cuts as a sheer success on Wednesday.
Felicia Marcus, head of the state’s water board was over-thrilled with May’s readings and said that she would celebrate when the state meets the other target with a drink without ice. She added that the drink won’t be water since she had something else in mind.
However, water conservationists are concerned now that from now on Californians won’t be compelled to cut their water consumption as much as they did last year. Water districts have already submitted countless requests to the water board to ditch mandatory water cutbacks.
Water district argued that the measures are superfluous since there has been a wet winter which has filled the state’s reservoirs in its northern regions. In May, the state agency agreed to remove restrictions starting in June on the condition that each water district performed the stress tests.
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