California water use rises amid crippling drought
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians increased their water consumption this year during the severe drought, despite pleas from the governor to conserve, fallowed farm fields and reservoirs that are quickly draining, according to a report released Tuesday.
The State Water Resources Control Board released updated results from a water-use survey that said consumption has risen 1 percent, even as Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a 20 percent cutback.
The board’s report corrected survey results released just a month ago that said use statewide had declined by just 5 percent.
The earlier survey prompted the water board to consider the most drastic response yet to California’s drought — imposing fines of up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.
Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said the new usage figures underscore the need for action.
“Not everybody in California understands how bad this drought is ... and how bad it could be,” she said.