California reduced its water use by 10.4% in July 2022

California reduced its water use

According to state water authorities, Californians increased their water conservation in July, consuming 10.4% less than two years ago.  

Persistent droughts in California led to the introduction of new water conservation regulations earlier this year which went into place in full for the first time in July. As per state water board reports, the new laws appear to have made an impact, with water usage declining in June after massive spikes in April and May.    

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor monthly reports, residents consumed 104 gallons on average per day in July 2022, 12 gallons less than the previous July. It is also the lowest July water consumption since the "98 gallons per person per day" mandatory limits of July 2015.  

A brief highlight of the recent progress:

  • Three of the state's ten water zones saved more than 15%. 
  • The North Coast region reduced water usage by 28.5%.  
  • The South Lahontan region reduced water usage by 16%.  
  • The San Francisco Bay area reduced water usage by 17.3% 

California's water usage skyrocketed following rain scarcity around March 2022, resulting in the driest first three months of the year on record.

While late April brought few showers, the state's major reservoirs are still far below their historical averages and are heavily dependent on snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada's downstream rivers.  

As of April 1, 2022:

  • The statewide snowpack was only 27% of its historical average.  
  • Lake Shasta (the largest lake in the state) was around one-third full, with less than 60% of the average. 
  • Lake Oroville (the second-largest lake) was around one-third full at 64% of the average.    

In light of the ongoing water crisis, California has declared drought emergencies in 11 localities, where more than 2,700 people are receiving bottled water. Thirty-five villages that are receiving drought funds are under drought alerts. 2,018 towns that could experience water shortages in the coming year have drought watches in place. The majority of the worst-affected areas fall in the San Joaquin Valley and Russian River drainage.  

In the meantime, a large pipeline that transports water from the Colorado River to seven cities and four local water agencies is being repaired. Areas of Los Angeles County, home to roughly 4 million people, have been prohibited from outdoor watering for 15 days. 

As part of mitigating the drought crisis, the government is urging neighborhood water associations and agencies to keep up conservation efforts and provide more real-time information on water use. The state is also encouraging Californians to take immediate action by providing water-saving tips.   

save water save california

While the statistics show California has fallen short of its 15% water conservation goal by 4.6%, the state has definitely made improvements compared to previous years.   

"The most recent numbers show how far we've come. We can see some achievements, quite heartening"— Marielle Rhodeiro, Research Data Specialist at State Water Resources Control Board.    

Visit to learn more about California's drought responses. 

Related blog:

October 5th is California Clean Air Day

Rainwater is Unsafe to Drink on Earth

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Terra Thread backpacks, bags, and accessories are created for conscious consumers, corporations, and NGOs who are looking to make a positive impact on the world with their purchases. Terra Thread puts people and the planet first, every step of the way from organic farms to your arms.