SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Latest on California's efforts to conserve water during a five-year drought (all times local):
Californians are now falling short of the state's mandated water-saving target for the drought.
State water officials announced Thursday that urban water users overall have managed to use 24.8 percent less water since mandatory conservation began last year. That just misses the 25 percent water cuts Gov. Jerry Brown had ordered for users in cities and towns.
California is now in the fifth year of drought. Water officials have worried that the current rainy season might lead Californians to ease up on water conservation efforts.
The latest numbers mark the first time since June that Californians have missed the overall mandatory water-conservation target.
State regulators will provide their monthly update on how well Californians are conserving water during a historic drought.
The State Water Resources Control Board says that on Thursday it will provide the figures for January, the eighth month of mandatory conservation. Gov. Jerry Brown last year required residents and businesses to use 25 percent less water compared to use in 2013, the year before declaring a drought emergency.
In December, Californians used 18 percent less water, falling short of the target for a third straight month.
The state, however, had saved a combined 25.5 percent since June.
Officials have extended the conservation order through October, uncertain if the El Nino will ease drought.
Early winter storms blanketed the Sierra Nevada with an above-average snowpack, which has since dipped below normal.