Los Angeles residents cut their water use by 21% in July, surpassing the mandatory conservation standard set by state regulators to combat the drought, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The 21% reduction compared with July 2013 means that for the second straight month, Angelenos have met their state target and will avoid fines and other penalties for non-compliance.
The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to announce statewide water conservation figures Thursday.
"Los Angeles continues to lead our state in crucial water conservation efforts in the face of this historic drought," Garcetti said in a statement late Wednesday, adding that the city "is embracing sustainability and achieving real change."
Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a mandatory 25% reduction in urban water use statewide. To achieve that reduction, the water board assigned targets to each of the more than 400 urban water districts in the state. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was instructed to cut use 16% on both a monthly and a rolling cumulative basis until the end of February 2016.
In June, when the regulations took effect, the DWP saved just under 16% but were deemed to be in compliance because state regulators rounded up.
July's 21% reduction in water consumption means the city has saved about 18% since June, officials said.
"This is a great achievement that demonstrates the city's commitment to sustainability and our customers' willingness to make lifestyle changes and save water during this drought," DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards said in a statement. "Customers have been taking advantage of LADWP's many rebate and incentive programs, which help reduce customers' costs and save water."
By leveraging rebate programs, the department's residential and commercial customers have removed more than 23 million square feet of turf between 2009 the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, the mayor's office said.
In July, the DWP received 1,990 reports of water waste and issued only 10 monetary fines, officials said.
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