Visualizing California's Dynamic Urban Water Use


CA utilities: conservation June 2015 - May 2016

This is an interactive visualization of water conservation for all reporting utilities in California during June 2015 - May 2016 while the state mandate was in effect. State-mandated conservation goals were set based on residential water use per capita in 2013 and tailored to individual utilities' baselines. Thus, for all visualizations in this web application, water use in 2013 was used as a baseline to compute water savings in 2014-2016.

These visualizations are linked together, so filtering data on one chart will update all the other charts.


Number of suppliers displayed


Suppliers by Region

Aggregate conservation

[Thousand Acre-Feet]

Percent conservation

With respect to 2013 water use

CA utilities: residential water use June 2014 - June 2017

These are interactive visualizations of average water use per capita for all reporting utilities in California from June 2014 (when utilities were mandated to start reporting to the State) to June 2017, using 2013 water use as a baseline for comparison.

As shown in the graph below, water use in California is highly seasonal, with higher outdoor water use during the summer months. This seasonality also helped many utilities achieve high water conservation levels by regulating outdoor irrigation during the summer.

Monthly statewide water use per capita (residential)



Furthermore, the graph below shows that even summer (June-August) water use per capita in the residential sector shows high location-specific variability. Some of the regions that had a higher water use per capita at the beginning of the drought (2013) were able to achieve high conservation levels during the mandate, but water use levels are already starting to bounce back in some places. Local water use characteristics play an important role in how much water conservation each community is able to achieve, and whether these savings will continue onto the future.

Summer water use per capita by hydrologic region (residential)

*Summer water use in 2017 reflects data for the month of June only, as statewide data for the rest of the summer was not yet available at the time of this update.