Californians' Water Use Rises Despite Returning Drought

The biggest water use offenders come from more affluent neighborhoods.

Despite California plunging back into drought, residents are reverting to old water use habits.

A year after Gov. Jerry Brown lifted the state's drought emergency status, water use has continued to climb, especially in Southern California, reports NBC4 media partner KPCC. Because of that, state and regional water managers are considering reinstating some watering bans and conservation programs.

The biggest water use offenders come from more affluent neighborhoods. The average residential user in one Malibu water district, for instance, used 255 gallons a day, according to the state water board - three times the U.S. average of 83 gallons per person per day.

Despite the lack of recent rainfall, "you still see thick green lawns" in some communities, said Conner Evers, an LA-based conservation specialist.

While more affluent residents are being less mindful about their water use, residents from lower-income communities are proving to be the water conservation heroes. In East Los Angeles, for example, people use an average of 42 gallons a day. In Huntington Park, residents average just 34 gallons.

Now, the California Water Resources Control Board is considering whether to permanently reinstate some water use bans that were imposed during the drought state of emergency.

Read more at KPCC.

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