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'It Is What It Is': Sacramento Residents Step Up Water Conservation Efforts As State Mulls Drought Measures

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) —  Water conservation numbers are strong in the capital region, but is it enough to satisfy statewide water restrictions?

We're getting answers on how local counties are making conservation worth it for the people who live there.

As California's drought worsens, local water agencies have been given level two regulations with the intention of cutting water usage by twenty percent. Residents are answering the call but it still may not be enough as Gov. Gavin Newsom mulls the idea of a statewide mandate.

"It is what it is," says West Sacramento resident Erica Souvannarth.

The lifelong Californian has curbed her water usage substantially but wonders if she and her neighbors are doing enough.

Related: See the cumulative water savings in California by region. 

Local agencies like the Sacramento County Water Agency (SCWA) have been trying to help people be proactive and ready for what could come later this summer.

"We have to just make sure that people are prepared and we have been preparing them for the last couple of years and the public has responded," said Matt Robinson, a spokesperson for the SCWA.

Currently, the state has taken a localized approach hoping agencies can work with their constituents to reduce usage.

"I feel like we're doing our parts," said Souvannarth. "I even put plants that don't require a ton of water so hopefully that helps too."

In the capital region, SCWA has seen a ten percent drop in water usage since last June. But statewide, usage was up in double digits across most areas in the early spring months. Robinson said that incentive programs individual to a resident's water agency could be critical to know in a time like this.

"It's very important for the public to understand and get to know their water company [and] who brings water to your tap because if you get to know them, it could save you dollars and drops," he said.

While up in Folsom, similar rebate plans, as well as public education on water conservation, have helped limit water use. The city upped its local conservation regulations even before the State Water Resources Control Board laid out new guidance.

"There may be an appropriateness at the state to step in similar to what they did last year and this year," said Marcus Yasutake, Folsom's Water Resources director.

Currently, there is no indication that Gov. Newsom will implement a statewide mandate as he did in 2020. But usage numbers still don't meet the 20 percent threshold required to keep matters localized to water agencies solely.

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