FRESNO, Calif. — For the second straight month, Californians exceeded hefty water conservation mandates during the relentless drought, but without the state imposing fines, officials said Thursday.

Cities cut water use by a combined 31 percent in July, exceeding the governor’s statewide conservation mandate of 25 percent, the State Water Resources Control Board said.

The figure surpassed the June figure of 27 percent savings despite hot summer temperatures.

The strong figures show California residents are beginning to understand the dire need to cut back in the fourth year of the drought, said Felicia Marcus, chair of the water board.

“This isn’t your mother’s drought or your grandmother’s drought,” she said. “This is the drought of the century.”

In 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency, leading to the mandates now in place.

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