Sacramento Leads State in Reducing Water Use

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The State Water Board released new numbers on Tuesday showing how well California is conserving water during the drought.

The board surveyed 400 urban water agencies throughout California and found that statewide, residential water use decreased 9.8 percent from November 2013 to November 2014.

"We still need to do more, but we'll take it," Water Board Chief Felicia Marcus told FOX40.

Some of the best year-to-year improvements came from the Sacramento/San Joaquin region.  The Sacramento River hydrolic region decreased water use by 25.6 percent according to the Water Board, the most savings of any region.  Water use in the San Joaquin River hydrolic region was down a respectable 18.6 percent.

"I think in Sacramento you have the advantage of people being closer to the Sierra so they have a closer relationship with their source of water," Marcus eplained.  "Many other cities in the state are hundreds of miles away from their source of water."

She also pointed out that people in the Sacramento region have had the scare of seeing the low level of Folsom Lake.

The South Coast region, including Los Angeles, had a less impressive year-to-year water reduction of 3.2 percent.  But Marcus explained why that is not as bad as it sounds: "Some areas in Southern California have been conserving for two decades. And so they're already lower. They're still lower than Sacramento is now. So their percentage reduction is lower because they're going off a lower base. So everybody needs to conserve, but you have to look at both measures (how much water the community is using, and their reduction percentage)."

California is learning from the continent of Austrailia which had a ten year drought.

"Six years into it they had an even worse year," Marcus pointed out.  "And so their advice to us was, conserve early.  It's the cheapest, fastest, smartest thing you can do. And that's why we took action early. And we need people to continue to take action."

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