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San Diego Cities Meet March Water Savings Targets

Photo caption:

Photo by Port of San Diego / Flickr

Drought tolerant plants near Cancer Survivors Park in San Diego, August 10, 2010.

Most of the water districts in San Diego County surpassed their new water savings targets in March, joining residents throughout California who broke a recent trend toward less conservation, state water officials reported Tuesday.

Only seven area water agencies didn't reach their state-mandated targets in March. The month before, customers in about half the local districts used more water than the same month in 2013, which the state uses for comparison.

In March, no San Diego-area water agencies used more water than they did in the same period three years ago. Only a handful did statewide.

Across California, water use was 24.3 percent below the March 2013 level.

RELATED: El Niño Slightly Improved The Drought But Didn’t Bust It

"While some parts of the state saw rain and snow, other parts, specifically the Central Valley and Southern California, didn't, and yet, all Californians stepped up again to conserve water, because they know they can and that it is good for California," said State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus.

"Twenty-four percent in March is a stunningly welcome number. As we head into the warmer summer months, we need to keep conserving," Marcus said. "We may not need the same levels of conservation as last year, but we still need to keep all we can in our reservoirs and groundwater basins in case this winter is just a punctuation mark in a longer drought."

State water officials eased the water conservation targets for agencies in San Diego County because the Carlsbad desalination plant added to the local supply. The revisions went into effect in March.

Even with the lesser goals, customers in the San Dieguito Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Ramona Municipal Water District, Vista Irrigation District, Lakeside Water District and city of Poway missed their monthly targets. Poway saved 4.9 percent from March 2013, compared to a goal of 24 percent.

While customers in the Fallbrook Public Utilities District beat their 28 percent goal for March, they lag in the cumulative savings target since last June. The San Dieguito agency was the only other local district to miss its cumulative target.

The city of San Diego, the largest water district in the region, saved 11.9 percent in March compared to the same period in 2013, and 18 percent cumulatively since last June. San Diego's new state-mandated conservation standard is 8 percent.

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