(FOX 11 / AP) Water use fell by 27 percent in June, passing the conservation target set by Gov. Jerry Brown during the drought, regulators said Thursday. Data released by the State Water Resources Control Board shows 265 out of 411 local agencies hit or nearly reached savings targets.
Brown previously ordered an overall 25 percent reduction in urban water use. His administration gave each community nine months to hit assigned conservation targets as high as 36 percent.
Cities that fail to hit those marks could face state-ordered conservation measures and fines.
California's largest cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, previously released figures for June showing strong water conservation.
The agencies that met or came within 1 percent of their mandatory water conservation target serve 27 million Californians.
The savings came during the hottest June on record, which would normally lead to an uptick in water use
June was the month conservation went from a polite request to a demand by the governor to let lawns go brown, take shorter showers and implement other measures. Programs in Southern California offering millions of dollars to residents who rip out lawns have been exhausted.
State regulators assigned conservation targets between 8 and 36 percent. Water savings are compared to 2013, the year before Brown declared a drought emergency.
Meteorologists say a wet California winter is increasingly likely as a strong El Nino condition builds in the Pacific Ocean, although it's unclear if it will be a drought-buster.