Expert: El Nino storms helping Bay Area drought, but don't stop conserving

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An official with the Sonoma County Water Agency says the kind of recent rainstorms that have been hitting the Bay Area are helping the drought. Do not, however, assume it's over yet. (KGO-TV)

A round of rain is moving through the Bay Area. But don't put those umbrellas away just yet. ABC7 News Weather Anchor Spencer Christian says rain will taper off Thursday night and it'll be mainly dry on Friday, but a series of storms are coming in for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Thursday's storm hit the North Bay first, but it's just a drop in the bucket for the drought.

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Experts tell ABC7 News that the kind of rain that began falling in the North Bay on Thursday is exactly the kind of storm we need to fight the drought. And also the kind we want in an El Nino year. That's because these rainstorms are consistent, so they're enough to keep the ground saturated without lasting a long time and causing flooding or mudslides.
Do not assume, however, that the drought is over.

"Since the beginning of the rainy season we've accumulated about half of what we need to be full in Lake Sonoma," said Pam Jeane, Assistant General Manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency.

As we watch the drops fall and the water fall, take that as both encouraging and discouraging. Despite the steady storms, the drought is not a local phenomenon, it's statewide.

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As Jeane noted, just because the reservoirs fill up, disappearing groundwater remains an issue. One season of above average rainfall will not end that problem.

"The way groundwater gets into the ground, to provide water to our aquifers, it can take years for what we've withdrawn out of it to actually get back into the ground," she said.

In the meantime, it just keeps getting better and better for skiers and snowboarders in the Sierra. Kirkwood Resort has received six inches of new snow over the past 24 hours and more than 19 feet this season.

Click here to download the ABC7 News App to get your weather forecast on the go. And make sure you enable push alerts for immediate notifications and severe weather alerts.

To learn how much water your city is required to cut back, click here. For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. You'll find tips about how to conserve water here and information on how to to report water wasters #WhereYouLive, here.

If you plan on hitting the slopes this season, tag your photos and videos on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #abc7now.
Related Topics:
weatherdroughtrainstormwaterwater conservationcalifornia watersonoma countyPetalumaOaklandSan MateoSan FranciscoSan Jose
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