SAN FRANCISCO -- California reduced its water usage by more than 27 percent in June, exceeding cutbacks mandated by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) earlier this year amid the state's historic drought.
The state water board announced Thursday that urban water users reduced consumption by 27.3 percent compared to June 2013 levels, amounting to 59.4 billion gallons of water saved. Under the reduction targets set by Brown in April, California must cumulatively reduce its water usage by 25 percent between June and February.
"Californians understand the severity of the drought and they are taking action, as shown by the numbers released today," water board chair Felicia Marcus said in a statement.
The conservation report highlighted water districts in Antelope Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clara Valley and Yorba Linda for dramatically cutting their water usage.
Marcus commended residents for cutting back on water despite June's record-breaking temperatures. (Last month was the hottest June on record, according to the NOAA.)
"This report shows that residents knew they had to keep conserving even during the summer heat and they kept the sprinklers off more than they would in a normal year," she said.
Depending on what water district they live in, residents are required to reduce water consumption by 10 to 35 percent. Individual households that fail to meet those targets could face fines up to $10,000.
So far, Californians are taking the cutbacks seriously. In May, Californians made their steepest water reductions since Brown asked residents to curtail water usage, consuming 29 percent less water than in May 2013. That marked a dramatic reversal from March, when Californians cut their water use by just 3.6 percent.