Roseville Eases Water Rules as Californians Conserve Less

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Residents in Roseville are allowed to water their landscaping two days a week starting Monday.

Businesses and homeowners have been only been allowed to water once a week since statewide drought restrictions were enacted last year.

The state goal was to have communities reduce water used by 24 percent.

"Our customers did about 34 percent," said Roseville spokesperson Maurice Chaney.

The city also gets most of its water from Folsom Reservoir, which has been filling up with recent rains and El Nino snowstorms. The easing of restrictions comes the same day as state water conservation numbers were released by the State Water Board.

Since the state restrictions were put into place nine months ago, state residents have seen a 24 percent reduction in water use. But the numbers declined to 17 percent in January and only 12 percent in February. Still, the overall savings were seen as a sign that Californians were taking the drought seriously.

The key for Roseville is to make sure residents don't view the relaxation of water rules as a sign that the drought is over.

"It's our hope that some of these behaviors have hardened a bit and that people are using water as efficiently as possible," said Chaney.

State Water Board Chair Felecia Marcus said conservation might have to be a permanent mindset given long-term changes in the weather.

"We're going to have to move that way to deal with what climate change is going to bring, where we're gong to have those lousy snowpacks more often because it's hotter," said Marcus.

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