California drought: Summer water-savings in the desert

People in the Coachella Valley continued to save substantial amounts of water in July, even after California regulators relaxed drought measures and gave water districts a reprieve from state-imposed conservation targets.

Customers of the Coachella Valley Water District, the area’s biggest water supplier, used 28.6 percent less in July as compared to the same month in 2013, which state officials are using as the baseline year. That was up more than 5 percentage points from June and above the district’s cumulative average of 25.6 percent for the past 14 months since the state began tracking monthly performance in June 2015.

Some CVWD customers may have been watching their water use more carefully after the district voted to approve a rate increase in June. The district’s board also made another change intended to encourage conservation, adjusting the rate structure to make customers’ individualized water budgets stricter.

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