Californians increase water use despite drought

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Californians have increased their water consumption this year during the severe drought, despite pleas from the governor to conserve, fallowed farm fields and reservoirs that are quickly draining.

The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday released updated results from a water-use survey that said consumption has risen 1 percent, even as Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a 20 percent cutback.

The report corrected survey results released just a month ago that said use statewide had declined by 5 percent. The earlier survey had prompted the State Water Quality Control Board to consider the most drastic response yet to California's drought - imposing fines of up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.

Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus says the increase in use underscores the need for action: "Not everybody in California understands how bad this drought is."


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