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Water Consumption Drops In San Diego County

Water consumption by San Diego County residents dropped by 19 percent last month compared to the same period in 2013, despite record-breaking heat, the San Diego County Water Authority reported Wednesday.

The conservation efforts by water users resulted in the fifth straight month of large declines, according to the water authority. The agency reported that, from June through October combined, water use in the region was down 26 percent compared to two years ago.

State water officials, in establishing conservation targets, set 2013 usage totals as the baseline. The region's state-mandated conservation goal is 20 percent, though individual water districts have higher and lower targets.

"The region made another impressive effort to conserve water during an extremely hot month," said Mark Weston, chairman of the water authority's board of directors.

"Since state emergency water-use regulations took effect in June, we have beaten the state's conservation goals as a region, and we will continue to work closely with our member agencies to build on our successes in the months ahead," Weston said.

The success came in a month when temperatures at Lindbergh Field were about 8 degrees above average for the month. In October 2013, temperatures at San Diego's official reporting station were slightly below normal, according to the water authority.

The state mandates to cut back on water use are in effect through February. Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order to extend the conservation effort through October of next year, if drought conditions persist over the next few months.

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