Monterey County

Central Coast water usage lowest in state

Per capita numbers show the Central Coast uses less water than other regions in California

MONTEREY, Calif. - Of the ten regions in California, the Central Coast comes out as the lowest water user. The data was collected by the state's Water Management Resources' Urban Water Management agency.

These numbers are submitted by water districts every five years, and shows water use through 2010. The numbers help water districts plan conservation efforts and Water Demand Manager at the Monterey Peninsula Management District Stephanie Pintar said our numbers are low because of aggressive conservation efforts in place since the 90s.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Pintar.

The state average is 196 gallons per capita, per day. The Central Coast uses only 147 gallons. Compare that to the Colorado River Region, they use a whopping 379 gallons per capita. Palm Springs, in that region, uses even more at 736 gallons.

"Palm Springs and Southern California, their rate of what is called vapor transfer is higher so the plants need more water, its hotter," said Pintar.

The San Francisco Bay is a close second to the Central Coast using 156 gallons per capita per day. But Pintar said per capita numbers includes several types of water usage, which means you and I are probably using even less at home than recorded.

"When you look at the aggregate use per capita, you are looking at all the different types of uses, residential and non residential and dividing it by number of people, so that number doesn't really accurately reflect what a person is using in their home," said Pintar.

These numbers help water districts set goals for how they plan to reduce water usage. The state is requiring all districts to cut back 20% percent by 2020.

Santa Cruz County districts don't have numbers in yet on people conserving since the drought but they are the lowest users on the Central Coast. With a regional average of 147 gallons per capita per day, the city of Santa Cruz Water Department uses 113 gallons, the Soquel Water District uses 118 gallons and the Watsonville water district uses 116 gallons. The Monterey Peninsula uses 144 gallons, Salinas uses more at 146.

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