NewsCovering Kern County


Bakersfield City reports saving more water per month than Newsom’s order

"We’re still in this drought."
Watering grass
Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 02:38:23-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The City of Bakersfield and Cal Water put water restrictions in place a few months ago to curb the use of water for irrigation and officials say it’s making a difference in helping reduce the impact of the drought here in California.

This is along the lines of Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to cut down water consumption by 15% statewide and the city said over the past couple months, they have already reduced consumption by 16% on average per month.

In December, January and February, since the changes came into effect.

“We wanted to limit how much water waste we’re seeing,” said Joe Conroy.

In December of 2021, both the City Water Resources Department and the California Water Service moved to stage 2 of their drought mitigation plan.

Restrictions include reducing the number of water days to just two or three based on their water provider.

No watering outside after days with measurable rain, using shut-off nozzles on hoses, and other limitations on washing sidewalks, driveways and patios.

Among others, Joe Conroy with the City of Bakersfield, said that they can already see measurable results.

“The fact that we’re coming in above what the governor requested is a sign that people are complying, they understand the importance, and it’s important to remember that these are continuing and we’re still in this drought situation right now.”

On the other hand, Cal Water said they have seen improvement, but not as much that they need to meet state requirements.

“We did see fantastic reductions in December. It’s just in January and February they were a little bit lower than we would like to see,” said Yvonne Kingman.

Yvonne Kingman With Cal Water said as the amount of rain we got reduced, and the weather started to get drier, they have only been able to save about 1% or 2% of water per month in 2022 but said it’s not enough.

They hope to help people understand that, especially as we get into hotter weather.

“Although we do have mandatory irrigation restrictions, but as far as actual reduction, we’d like to be able to do that voluntarily. So, what we are going to be doing is, especially as we get into spring and look ahead to summer, we’re really going to be out there, talking to customers, educating them.”

Both Kingman and Conroy said they are glad that the public has been receptive to the restrictions and have not had many compliance issues so far.

“We’re happy to see what we’ve seen so far, in terms of the response. We hope that continues and we appreciate everybody helping us with that.”

Both the city and Cal Water offer rebates as well to help encourage people to conserve water.