Sacramentans continued to conserve water last month, although their total consumption grew compared with a year earlier.
The Sacramento Regional Water Authority said Thursday that water consumption fell by 18 percent in August compared with August 2013, the baseline used by state drought regulators.
The conservation rate was below the 22 percent savings achieved in August 2014. That suggests Sacramentans have become somewhat less diligent about conserving water after the state rescinded its mandatory savings program.
Nonetheless, water officials pronounced themselves pleased with the results.
“We continue to be impressed by the water savings achieved by residents, especially during the summer’s hottest months when landscapes are thirstiest,” said Amy Talbot, water efficiency program manager at the regional authority.
The old conservation rules called for urban water agencies to slash consumption by an average of 25 percent compared with 2013; most districts in greater Sacramento had to achieve savings of 28 percent or higher.
Following a relatively rainy winter, state officials allowed the municipal agencies to set their own conservation targets based on their local water supplies. About 85 percent of the agencies said they wouldn’t set any targets at all, including every district in greater Sacramento. However, some communities, such as the city of Sacramento, continue to limit outdoor watering days.