Californians responded to the worst snowpack measurement on record and unprecedented drought restrictions by decreasing their water use 13.5 percent in April.
Data released Tuesday by state regulators show residents and businesses achieved the savings compared to the same month of 2013.
Southern California cities including Los Angeles and San Diego continued to lag in conservation, cutting just 9 percent.
Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory cutbacks in April as the drought drags on.
The State Water Resources Control Board will start tracking compliance this summer after assigning each community a water use reduction target as much as 36 percent.
The board is also tracking how local agencies crack down on water waste.