SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento residents have reportedly reduced their water usage by 6% for August compared to the same time last year, according to the Regional Water Authority (RWA).
Amy Talbot, the RWA's Water Efficiency Program Manager, said it's encouraging Sacramentans are using less water considering the scorching weather and ongoing water reductions since 2013.
"We also know that conservation is not like a light switch--it takes time for water-saving actions to be reflected in regional consumption data," Talbot said. "The current data shows that people are responding."
Water providers have also seen a spike in people requesting rebates and water waste calls, which RWA said translates to people taking conservation seriously. Sacramento saw an increase of water waste reported by 235% compared to the same time last year.
About a third of California was experiencing "exceptional drought" conditions in July, including Sacramento.
Ben Cook, with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told ABC10 that climate change has made it easier for California to get into a drought and harder to get out of one. He said warmer temperatures mean less snow, earlier snowmelt and more evaporation which means less water.
Gov. Gavin Newsom previously requested California residents and businesses to cut water use by 15% in July voluntarily. While the request was not an order, it demonstrates the growing challenges of a drought worsening throughout the summer.
According to the governor's office, by asking residents to reduce water usage by 15% voluntarily, the state can save approximately 850,000 acre-feet of water, which is enough to supply more than 1.7 million households for a year.