The Marin Water District has a new drought plan

The Marin Water District has a new plan to deal with California's worsening drought.

As of Oct. 24, Marin reservoirs have more water than normal, but the county said they're not waiting for things to get worse.

Marin's seven reservoirs hold 80,000 acre feet of water, the new plan would kick in when levels fall below 70,000 acre feet. The prior conservation plan didn't go into effect until levels fell to 50,000. 

Under the new proposal, when levels get down to 70,000 acre feet, a 10% voluntary cut would be requested from customers. At 65,000, the request would go up to 20% voluntary conservation.
But, at 55,000 acre feet, a cut of up to 30% conservation would be mandatory, and at 35,000, up to 50% mandatory conservation would go into effect. 

Right now, the Marin Municipal Water District's seven reservoirs are above normal for this time of year, thanks to contributions from customers who've cut their use by 25%. 

"We were also blessed with by the record rainfall we saw in October and December of last year and that really saved use from the critical water emergence shortage that we were in," said Marin Municipal Water District spokesperson Adriene Mertens.

Merthens said better notice sooner gives customers the chance to ward off the worst. 

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"Minimizing economic disruptions, limiting extreme hardships to our customers and also maintaining protection of the environment," said Mertens.

In the last three decades, Marin's reservoirs have reached 10% voluntary conservation levels twice. Thirty-one years ago, the drought stricken district imposed 50% conservation orders, but only briefly.

"It is critical and important to move those triggers to begin sooner," said Mertens.