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  • Lezlie Sterling / Sacramento Bee

    Sacramento cut its water consumption by 22 percent in July, exceeding the conservation target set by city officials.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Lawns at the Capitol, pictured on July 3, are being allowed to go brown to illustrate the seriousness of the drought.

Sacramento cuts water use 22 percent

Published: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 - 3:53 pm

Sacramentans reduced their water consumption 22 percent in July, exceeding the conservation target set by city officials.

Residents and business owners had made steady conservation progress since January, when the statewide drought began to take hold and the City Council adopted a 20 percent target. City officials announced Thursday that customers reached and exceeded the goal in July.

“It is fantastic news that the city exceeded its water conservation goal,” Dave Brent, city utilities director, said in a statement. “We truly appreciate the city’s customers for the sacrifices they’re making.”

Sacramento and other urban areas in the surrounding capital region are leading the state in water conservation. According to data from the State Water Resources Control Board, in May the Sacramento hydrologic region had reduced water use by 13 percent compared to an average of the past three years, more than any other region.

Brent said city government cut water use 30 percent in July, compared to the prior year. This occurred largely through reduced watering of parks and landscaped areas, less washing of city fleet vehicles and encouraging employees to conserve through signs in city buildings.

Reduced landscape watering is also the main way in which residents and businesses have conserved. Watering is allowed only twice a week, based on address: odd-numbered addresses only on Tuesdays and Saturdays; even addresses on Wednesdays and Sundays. Watering is allowed only after 7 p.m. and before 10 a.m.

Residents also helped by reporting suspected water-waste violations. City crews have investigated 11,993 water-waste complaints since Jan. 1, up from just 796 during the prior year.

Brent said it is important to continue conserving. An end to the drought – even a hope of any measurable rainfall – is still a long way off, Brent said.

“We must continue aggressive conservation measures,” he said.

Call The Bee’s Matt Weiser at (916) 321-1264. Follow him on Twitter @matt_weiser.

Read more articles by Matt Weiser

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