California’s Water Conservation Plateaus: 10.3 Percent September Cut

California’s water conservation effort appeared to level off in September, according to new numbers that put the drought-stricken state far below its target. California residents overall used 10.3 percent less water this September than in the same month last year, according to the report from the California Water Resources Control Board. That’s not as good as the 11.6 percent reduction in August, though the amount of water used in September was less. Through most of this summer, the state saw steady improvement in conservation, from 4 percent in June to 7.5 percent in July.

All of those numbers fall short of the 20 percent reduction that Gov. Jerry Brown has called for to get the state through a crippling drought that has lasted for years. More than half the state has been listed in the worst category for drought for months. Still there were some bright spots: Grover Beach, a city of about 13,000 north of Santa Barbara, reduced its water use in September by a whopping 52 percent, according to a staff presentation to the water board. The nearby city of Santa Maria saw a 29 percent reduction, and Davis hit 28 percent.

California's Ongoing Drought Drives Water Wars 2:40



— Gil Aegerter