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La Palma Water Consumption Down 27%

By Brian Hews

La Palma exceeded its state mandated conservation by 7% for the month of July, with the tiny Orange County city’s water consumption down a total of 27%.

The State Water Resources Control Board mandated La Palma reduce water usage by 20% from 2013 levels. In order to track this, the SWRCB requires a submittal of monthly water production totals to calculate La Palma’s Residential Gallons per Capita per Day (R-GPCD).

R-GPCD is calculated by using total water production numbers and the residential percentage, divided by the number of days in the month and total population.

Total water production for July was 157.25 acre feet, or approximately 51.24 million gallons of water. This is 27.4% lower than July 2013 when 216.64 acre feet of water or 70.59 million gallons was produced.

Approximately 73% of this water is used by La Palma’s 15,896 residents resulting in an R-GPCD of 78.44.

Although La Palma does not have any direct reuse of recycled water, Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) use highly treated wastewater that flows from La Palma to replenish the groundwater aquifer.

The SWRCB does not fully recognize this as recycled water use, but allow it to be reported.

In the future it is possible that La Palma can receive at least partial credit to reduce the overall conservation numbers.

OCWD calculates total recycled water production and then apportions out how much each participating agency can report. For July, La Palma reported 53.0 acre feet or 17.27 million gallons of treated wastewater being beneficially reused as groundwater aquifer recharge.

Despite positive numbers for the month, the overall reduction for the last 12 months is 14.4%. The community will need to achieve greater savings during the next few warmer summer months in order to meet the 20% goal. Staff will be looking closely at usage over the next few months to determine if a Stage Three Water Alert declaration will be necessary.

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