Editor's note: The Almanac misinterpreted water use data from Cal Water in our reporting an earlier version of this story. The average usage number is per water meter per month in units (1 unit = about 748 gallons) not daily per capita use in gallons. This version contains the corrected data. We apologize for these errors.
By Barbara Wood | Almanac Staff Writer
Atherton and Menlo Park customers of the California Water Service Company's Bear Gulch District didn't quite meet the 36 percent water use reduction goal in July. But they were both close at a 35 percent reduction in the amount of water each community consumed that month compared with July 2013, according to figures from the water company. Both Portola Valley and Woodside exceeded the 36 percent goal.
Average monthly use per water meter in Atherton for July was 51 units (1 unit = about 748 gallons or 100 cubic feet of water), down from 78 units average use in July 2013.
In Menlo Park, the average use per meter for the month was much less, 16 units, down from 25 units in July 2013.
Overall, in July the Bear Gulch District saved a little more than the 36 percent water use savings mandated by the state. District Manager Dawn Smithson said district water use was down by 38.6 percent, giving it a cumulative reduction of 39.7 percent since June.
"We are on target, but need to keep up the same standard of conservation if we are going to meet that goal," Ms. Smithson said.
In Portola Valley, Bear Gulch customers cut their water use last month by 42 percent from July 2013, with a monthly average use per meter of 27 units compared with 47 units two years ago.
In Woodside, customers reduced their water use by 39 percent in July, with an average monthly use of 56 units compared with 96 units in July 2013.
The Menlo Park Municipal Water District reduced the amount of water it purchased by 46.3 percent, far more than the 16 percent the district has been mandated to save. According to Pam Lowe, a senior civil engineer for the city, residential users reduced their water use by about 33 percent from July 2013, and commercial and industrial water users reduced their use by 38 percent.
The rest of the municipal district's water use is for irrigation accounts, temporary accounts (such as for construction), public facilities and water lost in the system, Ms. Lowe said.