How much water do residents use?
In an earlier report, we explored how much water nearby cities have conserved. In this report, we look at how much water residents are using after those conservation efforts. We don’t have numbers for West Hollywood, because Los Angeles and Beverly Hills provide the water here. Instead, we’ll compare the numbers for Los Angeles and Beverly Hills to nearby cities and to suppliers statewide.
Residential water use in nearby cities
The State Water Resources Control Board publishes estimates for residential water use, measured in gallons per capita per day (R-GPCD). The calculation excludes water used by businesses, farmers, and other non-residential users.
Beverly Hills has the highest residential water use among nearby cities: 135 gallons per person per day. Burbank’s residents use 111 gallons a day.
Los Angeles (78 gallons) uses about 40% less per person than Beverly Hills. Santa Monica (77 gallons) and Culver City (75 gallons) consume a bit less than Los Angeles. Glendale’s residents use more, 89 gallons a day.
Residential water use in California cities
Among California’s urban water suppliers, residential water use ranges from 40 to 470 gallons per capita per day. The average is 106 gallons, taking into account the number of people served by each supplier. That’s consistent with the US Geological Survey’s estimate that the average American uses 80 to 100 gallons a day.
How do Los Angeles and Beverly Hills compare to other suppliers statewide? We ranked the suppliers by residential water use per capita, without trying to adjust for climate. Beverly Hills ranks 131st. Los Angeles ranks 315th. Santa Monica and Culver City are almost the same (317th and 326th).
One problem with ranking water suppliers is that some suppliers serve very few residents (112) and others very many (4 million). We think they shouldn’t carry the same weight, so we calculated percentiles that take into account the number of people served. We still didn’t try to adjust for climate.
By that measure, Beverly Hills is in the 79th percentile for residential water use. It means 79% of people statewide are served by suppliers with per capita water usage less than or equal to Beverly Hills. The other 21% of people are served by suppliers with higher average residential use than Beverly Hills.
Los Angeles is in the 34th percentile. One third of the state’s residents are served by suppliers with average usage less than or equal to Los Angeles’. The other two-thirds of people statewide are served by suppliers with higher average use.
Residential water use versus conservation
When the State set mandatory conservation goals, cities with higher usage were required to save a higher percentage. The chart below compares the current level of conservation to the level of residential water use in nearby cities.
Culver City has the lowest use among nearby cities and the lowest conservation percentage, 15% in September 2016 versus 2013. Burbank has the highest savings (25%) and the second highest residential use. Los Angeles and Beverly Hills are both saving about 20% versus 2013, though they have very different residential usage levels.
Residential water use versus business and other uses
Residents are not the only ones using water from urban suppliers. The two suppliers that serve West Hollywood — Los Angeles and Beverly Hills — both provide 68% of their water to residents. The other 32% goes to other users, such as businesses and government entities.
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