SAN DIEGO -- Most of the water agencies in San Diego County fell short of their state-mandated conservation targets in December, according to data released Tuesday by the state Water Resources Control Board.
The lagging savings totals reflected the state as a whole, which cut back by 18.3 percent in December, missing Gov. Jerry Brown's order to reduce water use by 25 percent statewide.
Water officials acknowledge the difficulty of finding ways to conserve during the winter months, when people rarely irrigate their lawns and gardens anyway. However, Californians are still urged to look for ways to cut back.
"While the recent rains and growing snowpack are wonderful to behold, we won't know until spring what effect it will have on the bottom line for California's unprecedented drought," said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the state Water Resources Control Board.
"Until we can tally that ledger, we have to keep conserving water every way we can," she said. "Every drop saved today is one that we may be very glad we have tomorrow."
The region's largest water supplier, the city of San Diego, missed its target for the second month in a row, despite having one of the easier state mandates. Required to reduce consumption by 16 percent, city residents saved 15.5 percent.
San Diego fell short of its goal for the first time in November, at 13.8 percent.
The area agencies that achieved their targets in December were the California-American Water Company San Diego District, city of Escondido, Rainbow Municipal and the Sweetwater Authority.
The state also reports conservation totals on a cumulative basis since June. Most area agencies made their conservation targets when measured over the past seven months.
Those that did not were the Carlsbad Municipal, Fallbrook Public Utility, Olivenhain Municipal, Rincon del Diablo, San Dieguito and Santa Fe Irrigation District. Those districts have the most demanding mandates to meet.