Rain a welcome sight for California's reservoirs

- Come summer many in the Bay Area wonder: Will there be water restrictions? Probably not. 

Lake Shasta, the state's biggest reservoir, is exactly at teh level it should be this time of year based on historical averages. Don Pedro reservoir is 115% of normal. McClure- 126% and New Melones 129%. 

All of them have a lot more storage capacity with more storms coming. That's good news for California's reservoirs where rain is a welcome sight. 

Other large state reservoirs just under normal, but above 90% full are San Luis, Folsom Trinity, Millerton and Pine Flat. 

Lake Oroville is a special case. It's 59% or normal and deliberately so. The dam's face and spillway work continues for another year allowing that work to continue even if a huge atmospheric river should dump a lot of water into it. 

East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) says its big Sierra reservoirs, Pardee and Camanche are in good shape at 94 and 74% full. 

"Right now we're at about 80% of our full system storage capacity which is great. That's exactly where we want to be at this time, point of the season where we're expecting more rain," says Jenesse Miller, EBMUD spokeswoman. "We may get another three feet in the Sierras snow pack. We got two and a half feet over the last two weeks. So if the forecast pans out we way we think it will, we're looking forward to a very, very good March." 

San Francisco-owned Hetch Hetchy, is another mega reservoir.

"We're in generally pretty good shape coming into this year. The storm we're getting now is going to, of course, make that picture clearly better," says Steven Ritchie, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission assistant general manager. 

"Normally this time of year is about 59% full because we would have taken the water level down to accept all of that snow melt coming in. But, we we don't have as much snow we haven't been anxious to take it down. But we actually are starting to lower the elevation because there is gonna be enough snow to melt and produce significant runoff," Ritchie added. 

The current wet weather gives confidence Hetch Hetchy will be full and water districts and cities that buy water from Hetch Hetchy are not likely to be rationed.

So why with a current snow pack one-third of normal do things seem so peachy? You can thank the last rainy season. 

"The benefits of that wet year have stayed with us because it was such a bounty," said Miller. 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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