California residents reduced water consumption by 31 percent in July.  This marks the largest savings in one month since the state began tracking urban water use more than a year ago, state officials announced Thursday.

The level of water conservation exceeded the governor’s 25 percent mandate for the third month in a row, resulting in a combined statewide savings of 30 percent for June and July as compared to the same months in previous years.

Californians’ response to the severity of the drought this summer is now in high gear and shows that they get that we are in the drought of our lives. This isn’t your mother’s drought or our grandmother’s drought, this is the drought of the century according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

Savings in July equaled 228,940 acre-feet of water or about 74.6 billion gallons; the cumulative amount saved for June and July equaled 414,800 acre-feet, or 35 percent of the savings goal of 1.2 million acre-feet by February 2016, the state board reported. Southern California scored a record-high 28 percent savings in July, surpassing its previous monthly high of 26 percent in May as compared to same-months in 2013.

“We are really proud of our residents and businesses for working so hard to reduce water consumption,” said El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero.

July 2015 savings were helped along by scattered rain showers in many parts of the state, causing residents to turn off outdoor sprinklers, officials said. Also, the savings may have been boosted by temporary water surcharges inserted into residential water bills for overusers. They predict continued savings as more water users open their bills in August and September.

Still, state officials say most of the savings comes from allowing lawns to turn “California golden” since outdoor watering accounts for at least 50 percent of residential consumption. Come winter, percentages will drop because there’s less outdoor watering.

Lets hope that El Niño brings welcome rainfall and snow to California this winter.