According to data released by the State Water Resources Control Board, this April California reduced its water consumption by 13.5 percent over the same month in 2013. In a doom and gloom drought news cycle, the figure might be seen as trickle of optimism.

Even though that 13.5 percent figure falls short of Governor Brown's 25 percent reduction mandate, no one will be penalized just yet. April, if you'll excuse the pun, was a dry run. The real "compliance assessment," as the coming crackdown is being called, is set to begin July 15.

You'll recall that California is being considered in its various "hydrologic regions," with the city of San Francisco in the most lenient tier, which is confusingly tier 2, requiring the City to save 8 percent more water. Much of the East Bay is in the fourth tier, and so is shooting for 16 percent savings. Though we don't have a district-by-district breakdown on the April numbers yet, we do have the blanket San Francisco Bay Area figure. Collectively we were down 19 percent, which is pretty good!

"We hope the improved conservation rate for April shows that residents and businesses stepped up to begin to meet the call for greater conservation in the face of this historic and ongoing drought,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. "Whether 12, 24, or 36 percent, these reductions are achievable if we reduce our outdoor irrigation, fix our leaks, and think about our water use every day. We know that when people pay attention to their water use they can make significant reductions, so we need everyone to make conservation a part of their summer routine."

With that in mind, why not refresh your memory with some water saving tips, both stuff the state wants you to do and stuff you're likely to be able to do.

Previously: Drought Rules Revised Based On Feedback, SF In Most Lenient Water Usage Tier