Officials Consider Mandated Restrictions As Water Conservation Numbers Tank

FOLSOM (CBS13) – People are using more water and saving less across the state, that’s according to a new report from the California Water Resources Control Board.

The August numbers show people saved 10 percent less water compared to the same time period a year ago. The trend has state officials considering mandated water restrictions after the new year.

“When the regulations loosened up a bit, we decided to put the lawn in and really try and prevent erosion,” said Neil Edwards who lives in Folsom.

He wanted a place for his kids to play.

“We did, you know, as little as possible without going overboard so we could grow a lawn and not have a mud slick,” said Edwards, walking through his back yard.

A year earlier, brown and dry ruled the neighborhood.

“Last year, our backyard was just dirt,” said Edwards, “we have a slope that’s just dirt.”

In 2015, Folsom was at the top of water district conservation at more than 30 percent. This August, a major drop to the single digits at 7 percent.

“This year we didn’t curtail any water as we did last year because we had a better water year,” said George Kostyrko with the State Water Resources Control Board.

He says more people are using more water in certain regions across the state.

“The concern by the board is it appears there are some parts of the state that are flagging compared to other parts,” said Kostyrko.

State water conservation has steadily dropped to 18 percent in August 2016, down from 27 percent in August last year.

Folsom, San Juan, South Lake Tahoe and Malibu saved the least.

“We conserve inside, we try and manage how much we put on the lawn,” said Edwards.

While Kostyrok commends Californian’s for saving water, he says the Water Board will continue to monitor reservoir levels and talk with slipping districts.

“That will play into the board’s decision to perhaps reinstate mandatory water conservation rates.”

More from Drew Bollea

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