Bay Area water agency pushes water conservation despite rain

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
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State officials are considering easing water restrictions in some regions, the Bay Area will have to continue conserving water.

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- California needs a lot more rain to quench our drought, but state regulators said Monday they are considering easing some restrictions on water use.

Water officials say communities in hot, inland regions could be eligible for reduced requirements, but one Bay Area water agency says its customers still need to conserve.

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Years of drought have left many homeowners with nothing but dirt in their front yards. Now there's hope the drought will be over, but water experts are warning people not to start laying down fresh sod just yet.

"I'm an old fashioned kind of guy. I like a lawn," Dublin resident Norman Belssner said. He says his lawn was on life support before the rain came down. "Pretty much to the brownish tan stage... and now, it's getting greener."

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The Dublin San Ramon Services District says this consistent rain is perfect for recharging the aquifer which supplies this region.

Sue Stephenson from the Dublin San Ramon Services District says with steady rain, "The advantage is minimum run-off, which just flows off into the bay, and we don't get to use it as a resource. Maximum soaks into our ground."

Other people are relieved they won't have to pay more to refill their swimming pools. Regardless, the water district is cautioning residents not to start celebrating yet.

"Last December, it was nice like this -- rainy and wet -- then January was the driest on record," Stephenson said.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District says nearly 14 inches of precipitation has fallen on its Sierra reservoirs since October, but it still needs 40 to 50 more inches to end its water shortage.

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