The Associated Press, citing state data, reported on July 16 that water consumption increased 65 percent from May 2013 through May 2014 in the City of Santa Ana.
That was apparently news to the City of Santa Ana's leaders and water officials.
"The fact is that the city's water consumption increased by only 7 percent during that time frame," according to Santa Ana's Public Works Agency.
Nabil Saba, the city's water resources manager, spoke with the Associated Press reporter who crafted the original piece, which was later corrected, according to a notice Santa Ana residents received recently.
The Public Works Agency also took the opportunity to explain the "minor increase" in water usage, which was attributed to improved economic conditions within the city leading to a reduction in housing vacancies and general increase in population. The actual amount of water consumed in Santa Ana this past May "is very close to our 10 year average for May," according to the city.
The city boasts it has the lowest per person water use levels in the county and state, having met California water use targets for the year 2020 more than five years in advance.
But the city concedes more conservation will be required due to the state's lingering drought. Residents are encouraged to irrigate lawns only after 6 p.m. and before 9 a.m., the washing down of sidewalks and driveways is discouraged and, when washing cars, the use of self-closing shut off nozzles with hoses is encouraged. More tips are offered at www.bewaterwise.com and www.santaanaccr.org.