TUSTIN, Calif. – A warm winter with almost no rain is sending water use climbing in Southern California.
The latest figures show water use in a region covering parts of Los Angeles and surrounding counties is 3 percent higher than it was at the same time at the start of the state's five-year drought.
Affluent communities with lawns to save are seeing some of the highest water use, including Malibu and east Orange County.
Southern California has received less than a fourth of normal rainfall this fall and winter and U.S. drought monitors recently declared parts of Southern California back in severe drought.
Members of the Water Resources Control Board are expected to vote next week on whether to permanently reinstate some water-use restrictions.