Throughout the year, we’ve been posting, on a monthly basis, the average number of gallons used per person per day by residents of the Monterey Peninsula’s Cal Am service area, together with how that compares to other cities and water districts throughout the state.
Are we trying to suggest that conserving water is equally easy for all cities or to imply that comparing one city to another in this way is “fair?”
Our only goal is to demonstrate that the Monterey Peninsula does still have considerable room for improvement in the water conservation area and to remove all doubt that those who discourage additional conservation by claiming that Peninsula residents “use less water per person per day than anyone else in the state,” are either ignorant or lying.
As you may recall, last December Peninsula residents came tantalizingly close to making that boast a reality. As heavy rains all but eliminated outdoor watering, average water use fell to just over 33 gallons per person per day; only a fraction of a gallon behind first place Arcata. This accomplishment got a lot of press and helped breathe new life into the tired, yet long-promoted, idea that the Peninsula leads the state in water conservation.
The following graph illustrates how things have gone since:
Using less water per person per day than anyone else in the state means staying below the purple line on the graph – not soaring high above it, as we have been doing all year.
While we were using 67.4 gallons per person per day in July, the state-leading residents of the Bay Area’s Westborough Water District, at 29.6 gallons per person per day, were using less than half as much. All told, 56 California communities did better than the Monterey Peninsula in July, including 29 in thirsty, supposedly water-wasting Southern California.
In August, for the first time since December, the Monterey Peninsula’s residential water use actually declined a little; to 66.4 gallons per person per day. Good enough to put us back into the top 50 in terms of water conservation (at 49th), but certainly nothing to brag about.
We used just 49.7 gallons per person per day in September 2014 (the month the state began tracking and reporting on residential use per person per day). That’s more than 16 gallons per person per day less than we just finished using in August, so it will be interesting to see how the September 2015 numbers compare. They should be out around the start of November.
Let’s hope early rains help us get our water use back down where it belongs. Wouldn’t it be great if we really became state leaders in water conservation?
For additional information, see previous posts on this topic from: