DRY TAPS: ANALYZING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DROUGHT CONSERVATION ACTIONS ENACTED BY CALIFORNIA WATER SUPPLIERS
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Water conservation policy during a drought in California is often left to the water supplier to develop and implement with the goal of meeting a defined reduction. In December 2022, there were over 370 water suppliers in California. Most research has focused on the response of conservation actions by studying select individual suppliers. However, given California’s interconnected water systems, a statewide study is warranted. This paper analyzes the cumulative actions of water suppliers using multivariable regression models and identifies what conservation actions reduced residential water use and provides reasons why each supplier should implement their own strategies to reduce the water consumption of their customer base. The analysis shows that certain actions, such as water usage restrictions and drought surcharge pricing, were effective at a statewide level in obtaining a statistically significant reduction in residential water consumption. Additional findings show responsiveness to drought policy is complex and can vary by region, supporting local research and subsequent implementation.