California reservoirs filling quickly from storms

The heavy rains and abundant snowfall in California in recent weeks have many people wondering what impact the storms have had on the state's reservoirs and severe drought.

The Marin Municipal Water District has had California's best luck with its water supply so far. Marin's only concern now is making sure it doesn't get more water than it can handle. 

"We have seven reservoirs, including five on Mt. Tam and every one of them is at capacity as of this morning and spilling water through their spillways," Marin Water Information Officer Tyler Silvy.

The state's big six mega reservoirs are doing much, much better. Since the end of last year, they've gone from an average of 34% full to 42% full at a time when 68% full is considered normal. 

Individually, mega reservoir Don Pedro is 97% of normal, Oroville is 85% of normal, Shasta is at 67%, New Melones is 59% of normal and Trinity 42% of normal.

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In this period these six reservoirs have picked up enough water to cover San Francisco's 49-square-mile footprint with water 49 feet deep. This is great news for water importers such as the South Bay's Valley Water which might have to import less. 

"We have 10 reservoirs and we currently have three reservoirs spilling and potentially a fourth that is getting close to the top and it's expected to spill today as well," said Matt Keller, a Valley Water spokesperson.

The mega reservoirs are sources for Valley Water. 

"Imported water is really important. So, seeing those state reservoirs filling up, they're huge reservoirs," said Keller.

East Bay MUD's big Camanche Reservoir is a whopping 122% of normal.

Even water-starved Sonoma Water, which only has two reservoirs and no imports, is far better off. Lake Sonoma is 80% of normal and Lake Mendocino is essentially full. 

"Both of these reservoirs feed into Sonoma County and down into north Marin and so we're talking about eight cities and 600,000 people. So this is our main water supply," said Sonoma County Water Agency Communications Manager, Andrea Rodriguez. 

"I think this is a real miracle that we get this because they were talking like we were not going to get any water; like everybody was selling their boats and everything," said Booneville resident Larry McClintock.

This is to say nothing of that massive snow pack which, if we can avoid a dry spell or warm spell, could deliver a staggering punch to what has been a relentless drought.