S.J. Co. water use falls, but not enough

You heard the news that Californians have so far fallen well short of the 20 percent water conservation goal established by Gov. Jerry Brown when he declared drought in January.

On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board released the results of the survey upon which that news was based. The survey reveals, for the first time, how individual cities and water districts are doing. You can access the spreadsheet from this page.

The nuts and bolts for San Joaquin County:

• Most water providers apparently either did not respond to the survey, or did not provide water usage statistics for 2014. State officials have said that some surveys are still being counted.

• The California Water Service Co. did report its usage this year. Its Stockton customers actually used 9 percent more water in January 2014 than they did on average during the same month the previous three years. (To be fair, the drought wasn’t made official until Jan. 17, and as the state points out, it takes time for the public to respond and take measures to conserve. And of course, January was exceptionally dry, likely boosting demand somewhat.)

CalWater customers did better in February, March, April and May (partial), registering declines of 3 percent, 9 percent, 4 percent and 10 percent respectively compared to the previous three years. Better, but still nowhere near the 20 percent goal established by the governor.

• It was a similar story in the city of Manteca, where water use in January was up 15 percent over the previous three years, but then declined the following months. Manteca customers used 15 percent less water in February, 16 percent less water in March, 9 percent less water in April and 5 percent less water in May (partial) compared to the previous three years.

Again, the city fell short of 20 percent.

• Stockton’s Municipal Utilities Department and the city of Lodi apparently responded to the survey but did not answer questions about water use so far in 2014.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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