SCV water customers top savings goals for June

(The following appeared in the July 8 Santa Clarita Valley Signal)

Santa Clarita Valley water users surpassed the governor’s target for 25 percent water savings this June compared to June 2013, local water retailers announced this week.

The Santa Clarita Valley’s three main water retailers — Valencia Water Company, Santa Clarita Water Division and Newhall County Water District — all reported water savings over and above the 25-percent-better-than-2013 mandate imposed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April.

That means Santa Clarita Valley residents are turning off their taps in light of the state-wide drought and heeding the call to conserve, water officials said Wednesday.

“Our customers met their goal for June,” said Steve Cole, general manager for the Newhall County Water District. “It’s a great start to summer, but we must remain vigilant water-savers.

“(The district) will continue to empower its customers with education, information and tools to maintain this pace,” Cole said.

The district — serving 45,036 customers — boasted a 28 percent water use reduction for June 2015 compared to the same month in 2013.

The two other water purveyors in the Santa Clarita Valley each reported a 33 percent reduction in water use for June compared to June 2013. Valencia Water Company and the Santa Clarita Water Division serve 118,224 customers and 121,688 customers, respectively.

“Numbers for May and June both exceeded our conservation targets,” Valencia Water General Manager Keith Abercrombie said Wednesday.

“These numbers are encouraging and show that customers have taken conservation to heart and are continuing to make strides in this regard,” he said. “Many customers have taken steps, and others are taking steps, to make changes to their water use habits, including changes to their outdoor landscaping, such as converting turf to drought-tolerant landscapes.

“Such efforts not only conserve water now, but create long-term continuing savings,” Abercrombie said.

For the Newhall County Water District, June’s conservation follows an equally strong water-saving effort in May, which saw reductions of more than 32 percent, Cole said.

May brought favorable weather conditions, he noted, which helped reduce water use. June, however, averaged approximately 86 degrees throughout the month.

While conservation strategies remain relatively the same across the Santa Clarita Valley, Cole’s district is sticking with a three-day-a-week watering schedule compared to the two-day-a-week schedule enforced by the other two local districts — and requested by the governor.