This latest atmospheric river has filled up reservoirs across the state, including local Bay Area reservoirs — even leading to some to overflow.
CalMatters reported that the Sierra Nevada has received two winters’ worth of snow since Christmas. Snowmelt in the Sierras provides a major portion of drinking water to more than 27 million people living in cities stretching from the San Francisco Bay Area to Southern California. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, for example, supplies about 85 percent of San Francisco’s total water needs. San Francisco also has a “water bank” at Don Pedro Reservoir, which was full as of Feb. 1, the Chronicle reported.
This weekend’s rains have also replenished local reservoirs. KTVU reported that many reservoirs in the East Bay, North Bay, and South Bay are among those that have reached capacity.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District, the public utility that provides water and sewage treatment services to the East Bay, operates seven local reservoirs including Pardee, Camanche, Briones, Chabot, Lafayette, USL, and San Pablo, are all 70% full or more, according to EBMUD’s reports. The East Bay’s Briones Reservoir has reached even capacity, and officials have built a spillway to funnel excess water to the nearby San Pablo Reservoir, according to KTVU.
"East Bay Mud’s reservoirs are now 83 percent full and that’s perfect. That’s literally right where we want to be," EBMUD spokesperson Andrea Pook told KTVU this week
In the South Bay, the Santa Clara Valley Water operates 10 reservoirs in Santa Clara County.
"This has been a very good wet season for us,” Santa Clara Valley Water spokesman Matt Keller told KTVU. “It’s not just our local reservoirs being filled but it’s reservoirs in northern California like Oroville reservoirs and Shasta reservoirs that are filled with snowpack and other rainfall."
Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that eased restrictions to help municipalities use floodwater to recharge and store groundwater. “This order helps us take advantage of expected intense storms and increases state support for local stormwater capture efforts,” he said in a statement.
Photo by Dcoetzee via Wikimedia under Creative Commons.