Drought measurement may impact South Bay water savings target

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The Santa Clara Valley Water District will evaluate keeping its water savings target at 20 percent after the latest drought news. (KGO-TV)

What does this new drought declaration mean for you? And will it mean changes to the water restrictions so many local communities have seen?

'It's raining,' has been followed by the phrase, 'we sure need it' for the past five years. However, today, you can officially say you're 'tired of the rain.' The U.S. Drought Monitor shows the entire Bay Area is no longer in a drought. That means the Santa Clara Valley Water District will evaluate keeping its water savings target at 20 percent.

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"All the indications are good right now. We're going to be re-evaluating where we are going forward. We are running the models to see how does this look for our water supply in 2017," said Marty Grimes, Santa Clara Valley Water District.

U.S. Drought Monitor - Click here for full report

Six reservoirs in Santa Clara County are spilling. Others, like Anderson, are above seismic restriction levels and must release water to get below those limits.

Groundwater supplies are also getting a big boost; officials saw a significant increase in 2016. Putting levels at the bottom of the normal range, with more gains expected in 2017. But even with all this rain, water officials say the recent conservation efforts have really paid off. They're hoping people will stick with the plan rain or shine.

"We don't know what's around the corner. Next year could be dry again. All those good habits people have formed over the past four or five years really should continue," said Grimes.

"Even though the drought is over we all need to be careful with how we're using our water," said Milara Gatcke, Gilroy resident.

Santa Clara County residents really responded to the calls for water conservation, with a 28 percent drop in use when you compare it to 2013. Water officials meet at the end of the month to see if they'll stick with the 20 percent water conservation target.

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weatherfloodingrainwindstormdroughtsevere weatherevacuationstorm damagewinter stormSan JoseSanta Clara
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