Weekend rain not enough to impact CA drought

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
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Despite getting a lot of rain from this last storm, California's water supply is still below average.

ORINDA, Calif. (KGO) -- All the weekend rain provided a much-needed benefit for our reservoirs.

This kind of rain brought some relief to water agencies. East bay mud recorded nearly 5 inches of rain at their two reservoirs up in the Sierras and 2.5 inches in the reservoirs down below.

But despite getting a lot of rain from this last storm, we are by no means out of trouble. California's water supply is still below average.

"We still need about 20-25 inches of rain to not have a water shortage this year and it's looking less and less likely that that will happen," Abby Figueroa, East Bay MUD spokesperson.

Right now the agency's storage level is at 73 percent of where they want it to be.

Low rain totals and record setting temperatures have added to the problem.

Also, over the summer, the California's Water Resources Control Board ordered East Bay MUD to release some of its water from the Camanche Reservoir to be used in the much needed delta and fisheries.

The Camanche is only 31 percent full.

East Bay MUD is hoping the snow pack will eventually replace some of that water, except that the snow pack is one-third of what it should be.

If things don't improve, East Bay MUD officials say they may have to pump water from the Sacramento River.

"Pumping that water in from the Sacramento River costs us a lot more in energy and that cost would be passed on to our customer this year," said Figueroa.

This, after several months ago, customers were asked to increase their voluntary conservation to 15 percent.

"We live in California, in a Mediterranean climate, and we have to take that into consideration," said Maria Ferber, a Lafayette resident.

"It's already expensive when you have a family of five just to take showers. I'm not a fan of that," said Nikki Nestal of Orinda.

Any rate increase will be decided sometime in the spring.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.

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