Newhall County Water District (NCWD) announced Monday, October 5 that its customers cut water use more than 34 percent last month compared to September 2013, the benchmark the State is using to regulate water conservation. This marks the fourth consecutive month NCWD residents and businesses have exceeded their state-mandated water use reduction target, which is 28 percent.
Since state regulations took hold on June 1, NCWD customers have saved roughly 460,000,000 gallons of water – enough to serve about a third of the District’s residents for a year.
“This is significant across-the-board conservation,” said Steve Cole, NCWD’s General Manager. “NCWD doesn’t have that one large water user to singlehandedly put a dent in district-wide savings. The vast majority of our customers are residents and small businesses working hard to achieve this level of conservation, and we’re extremely proud of their efforts.”
The District credits its empowerment and data-focused approach to achieving these savings.
“California as a whole is doing a decent job of saving water,” continued Cole. “But our customers continue to exceed their target because they’ve been provided abundant information and empowered to make wise water decisions. It’s a policy that reflects the Santa Clarita Valley way of life.”
Eyes Toward Prolonged Conservation, Planning
Despite significant water use reductions, the potential for a strong El Nino and winter rains, the State may extend current water use regulations.
“There’s a belief that El Nino will cure the drought and that regulations will be lifted,” Cole said. “The more likely reality is that forced water use reduction will continue. It’s our responsibility to prepare and protect our customers as much as we can through proper planning and information.”
As part of this process, District officials are currently examining how to control more water supplies locally. This includes groundwater recharge and protection, recycled water use, continued conservation and more local storage.
“Southern California’s chronic water concerns cannot be cured by a storm or state regulations,” said Cole. “We must continue to diversify our water portfolio, invest in innovations and adapt to reduced water use now and in the future. This is a top priority for NCWD.”