California water conservation dips as relaxed drought rules take effect

Water conservation in California dipped slightly during the first month that the state’s mandatory water-savings rules were significantly relaxed, regulators said Tuesday.

The 21.5% cut in water use in June compared with the same month in 2013 was less impressive than some officials had hoped, but also came as a relief because the numbers suggest that urban Californians will continue to save water — even when they are not required to do so.

June marked the first time in a year that many of the state’s more than 400 local water agencies were not under orders to cut their consumption by a certain percentage.

Under the latest set of emergency drought rules, water districts were given the power to “self-certify” that they have enough supply to meet future demand and set their own savings targets. 

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