Rainfall impressive, but far from drought solution

The Santa Clara Valley Water District said the steady rain is helping with the severe drought, but that we're far from it being the solution.

Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, water in the Lexington Reservoir is a welcome sight for drivers on Highway 17 near Los Gatos. Drivers are used to seeing nothing but dry brush. Some of them stopped to take pictures.

"On the freeway I saw little lines of water, and I thought that could be a good picture there," said Rafael Riquelme of Los Gatos.

"It's been so dry," said Sandra Breiten of Los Gatos. "It's a miracle to see all this beautiful water upon us."

The recent rain has saturated the ground, making a dent with local reservoirs.

"Up until now we haven't seen a tremendous amount of water make our reservoirs," said Marty Grimes of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

The District said while these storms have helped, the Lexington Reservoir and the nine other reservoirs in the county are well below normal.

"We are still only less than 30 percent of the capacity of our reservoirs and not only that, if you look statewide, reservoirs, which are really important to our area, they are also about half of normal for this time of year," said Grimes.

Filling the reservoirs is just one step along with replenishing the groundwater basin. Silicon Valley gets roughly half of its water from underground. Water goes into ponds and seeps into an aquifer. Most of the ponds are still dry.

Santa Clara Valley water customers also rely on the Sierra snowpack, which is off to a good start and is above average so far this year.