In a Time of Conservation, a Handful of Water Officials Increase Use

Some 69 other officials who oversee the region’s 24 water retailers — the agencies or cities that sell water to individual homes and businesses — either kept their use steady or cut it. (Their water use totals are public records because they have the power to set rates.)

But a few went in the other direction. Lopez was one of eight elected or appointed officials countywide whose home consumption increased by more than 10 percent between 2006 and 2009. Back in 2006, water conservation wasn’t a common refrain. But by 2009, with the first countywide supply cuts in two decades taking effect, the cause was advertised everywhere — from city buses to radio and television.

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