Regulators: California Fell Far Short of Water-Saving Target

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State water regulators say Californians conserved little water in March and local officials were not aggressive in cracking down on waste.

The update was presented Tuesday to the State Water Resources Control Board as it considers sweeping restrictions to protect water supplies in the drought.

A survey of local water departments shows water use fell less than 4 percent in March compared to the same month in 2013.

Overall savings have been only about 9 percent since last summer, even though Gov. Jerry Brown set a voluntary 20 percent target.

Brown is now ordering mandatory conservation. Regulators are considering rules to set water reduction targets of as much as 36 percent for some communities.

The board is also tracking enforcement of water rules. Most communities reported sending fewer than 20 warnings in March.