County residents appear to be partly heeding warnings about conservation amid the region's shrinking water supply, but the true test will start now as temperatures soar to summer levels.
During the first four months of this year, people's water use dropped by about 16 percent compared with the same period in 2007, according to the latest data released by the San Diego County Water Authority.
While the year-to-year decrease may look impressive, water consumption for early 2008 is about the same as it was during the same stretch in 2006.
The conservation success this year came mostly in January and February, when a series of winter storms allowed everyone from farmers to the average homeowner to turn off their sprinklers temporarily. Usage levels went back up in March and April.