California cities hit record conservation during the drought after cutting water use 29 percent in May, according to data released by a state agency Wednesday.
Regulators hope the savings last through summer as California communities are under order to cut water use by 25 percent compared to 2013 levels. Gov. Jerry Brown announced his mandatory conservation order in April.
Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board enforcing Brown's order, said the results show it's possible to meet steep conservation targets.
"It's gratifying that far more communities are stepping up and we want to see this much more through the summer," Marcus said. "It ends up putting off the need for much harsher rationing which has greater impacts on people and the economy."
The May water savings were the best showing since the state started tracking conservation last year. It followed several months of tepid conservation, 13.5 percent in April and 4 percent in March.