Despite warm spring temperatures, Lathrop residents managed to their water usage down by a third in both April and May as water restrictions and altered usage appears to be taking hold.
According to statistics that were forwarded on to the State Water Resources Control Board, Lathrop used 82.08 million gallons of water in April compared to 122.38 million gallons of water during the same month in 2013 – the comparison year that the State of California uses to base mandatory water reduction percentages on. There were no citations issued during that month.
In May, water use increased to 104.9 million gallons, but that amount was significantly less than 169.19 million gallons used in May of 2013 – a 37 percent reduction in the month where temperatures first approached triple digits.
And the reduction usage appears to coincide with a more optimistic outlook about the future of California’s water situation.
While 60 percent of California is still in a severe drought – or worse designation, most of it concentrated in the Central Valley – that number is down from 95 percent at this time a year ago.
The majority of California’s water bounty is located in the northern half of the state. New Melones Reservoir, which is at 27 percent full, is only at 42 percent of it’s historical average. Don Pedro Reservoir, which is at 77 percent full, is at 98 percent of it’s historical average – a trend that continues as one gets further up the state. California’s two largest reservoirs – Shasta and Oroville – are at 88 percent and 89 percent of full, respectively, and both are above their historical average for this time of the year.
Folsom Lake is also at 95 percent of its historical average, and Millerton Lake – which releases water down the San Joaquin River – is at 109 percent of its historical average.
These numbers are based on a June 6 report by the California Department of Water Resources.
As a mandate by the Governor, restrictions limiting the days that homeowners and business owners can water remain in place. Penalties applicable by the local municipal code can be issued by the city if somebody is found to be violation of those restrictions – including watering on off days, using water in a way that is not allowed like hosing down sidewalks or driveways, or letting water run out into the street.
Lathrop’s reduction numbers for the month of June will be forwarded to the state within the next week.