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Dramatic Drop in LA Water, Power Consumption

— There has been a dramatic drop in Los Angeles-area water consumption in response to calls for conservation.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday praised residents, businesses and government agencies for cutting water use last month by an overall 17 percent compared to July 2008.

The city Department of Water and Power, which has 680,000 water customers and 1.4 million electric customers, says single-family homes cut water use nearly 21 percent, businesses cut usage nearly 22 percent and government properties reduced usage more than 34 percent.

Huge reductions in electricity usage are also being reported. The DWP saved a record 318 gigawatt-hours for the fiscal year ending June 30, an amount that equals removal of 53,000 households from the grid and avoids 178,700 metric tons of greenhouses gases.

Southern California is in its third year of water shortages.

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