SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — New data from the state shows Californians are not saving as much water as leaders have hoped.
“So, when we looked at water use data in the month of April, it was pretty clear that water use is still higher than we’d like to see,” James Nachbaur, a director at SWRCB, said.
The water board compiled data from water agencies to understand how much water is being used, by who and where.
In April of 2022, Californians used 17.6% more water than in April of 2020, despite efforts from the governor to cut water usage by 15%.
“Conservation is hard, and it’s been really hot in the last couple of months. I mean, obviously, we’re in a drought so it’s hot and dry, but it’s been historically hot and dry,” Nachbaur said. “And so it makes sense that people in California started irrigating their landscapes sooner than they might otherwise have done.”
And Nachbaur said the rainfall totals didn’t help either.
“The storms that we’ve gotten this spring, the little bit of rain we got recently how that is really helpful, but it’s just not been enough to make a serious dent in the overall water conditions,” Nachbaur told FOX40.
State water leaders think it would help to get the data from agencies sooner, so water usage can be tracked closer to real-time. Right now, water agencies have 28 days from the end of the month to submit their numbers, and Nachbaur said that can make tracking outreach efforts more difficult.
“Imagine managing anything with data that are two months behind. Getting these data sooner will definitely help… will help us make management decisions,” Nachbaur said.
Water leaders said there are still many other ways Californians can save water.
“It’s pretty urgent. This is a severe drought, it’s important that we up the game here. We are back-sliding,” Nachbaur said.
Nachbaur said, if things don’t change, more water restrictions could be on the horizon.