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Latest Water Conservation Numbers Unimpressive Overall

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Sacramento, CA — As drought conditions continue to worsen, state water regulators, unimpressed with the latest conservation numbers, are calling for the need to more aggressively safeguard increasingly precious water supplies.

Today, the State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) reported the latest water conservation figures, which show that water departments, overall, reduced usage less than four percent for March, compared to the same month figure for 2013, the baseline year. During March, Governor Jerry Brown’s voluntary 20 percent conservation target was still in effect.

Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) reported a 15 percent reduction and Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) a seven percent reduction for the period.

Among WRCB findings for March, 126 of 411 water suppliers reported no restrictions on allowable days per week for outside irrigation and only 290 suppliers submitted data for the first of what will now be monthly mandatory enforcement action reports.

While TUD did not provide March enforcement data, according to the WRCB report, CCWD indicated it had received and responded to ten complaints, issuing three warnings. It also indicated to WRCB that, while it will strive to educate and inform customers of conservation measures before taking enforcement action, if customers violate the conservation order, they will first receive a written warning letter. If the problem persists, according to CCWD enforcement procedures, violators could have their water governed by a flow-restricting device for a period of 30 days and/or fined up to $500 per day. In cases where the district may decide to pursue a misdemeanor violation of California Water Code Section 31029, those convicted would face penalties of up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $600, or both.