Deadline for state's input on modifying drought water restrictions arrives

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The deadline for local and regional water providers to give input to the state about modifying drought water restrictions was Thursday. (KGO-TV)

The deadline for local and regional water providers to give input to the state about modifying drought water restrictions was Thursday.

This comes just as the chances of a dry La Nina winter have been raised by 14 percent. "The stronger restraints need to be farther south in the state with maybe lessened more in the north," San Jose State's Dept. of Meteorology & Climate Science meteorologist Jan Null said.

The State Water Resources Control Board is seeking input as it prepares to modify or keep the current water reduction rules, ranging from eight to 36 percent, after near-average rainfall this winter in some parts of the state.

This comes as scientists are now predicting a 71 percent chance of a La Nina this winter up from a 57 percent chance just a month ago. La Nina conditions generally produce low rainfall.

At Valley Water district, the wholesaler for Santa Clara County retailers, managers say there's still a need to build up ground water supplies and reservoir levels. "We don't know what next year's going to bring. It could be another dry year or it could be the first of multiple dry years. Our ground water situation's still not to where they were before the drought started, so we still need to recover for those. so how do you find that balance in terms of what the appropriate call is while still recovering our reserves," Water Supply Planning Manager Jerry de la Piedra said.

Federal maps comparing today to a year ago show the state's exceptional drought footprint in darkest brown is now smaller.

However, Null points out, historically La Nina's can be dry some years and wet in others. It's too early to know which this will be. "I think we're going to have to wait until summer before we can say go from the 71 percent chance to there is going to be a La Nina to yes, it's almost a certainty and it's going to be this strong," Null said.

The valley's largest retailer, San Jose water, said it's in favor keeping water use restrictions in place.

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Related Topics:
weatherwater conservationwatercalifornia waterSan Jose
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