Cali Storms Brought Welcome Rain, but Restoring Reservoirs Will Need Much, Much More

October 27, 2021

San Francisco Chronicle:

These charts show where California reservoir totals stand after the atmospheric riverThis weekend’s atmospheric river brought record-breaking amounts of rain to drought-plagued California. But they didn’t give the state’s water supply much of a boost, data shows.

San Francisco Chronicle:

Satellite photos from before and after the recent atmospheric river storm, which brought intense rain across Northern California, show just how much of a difference the precipitation made in the drought-stricken state.

An image from Oct. 16, before the storms came through, shows a very dry-looking California, with almost no snow on the Sierra Nevada. But just 10 days later, on Tuesday, another image shows those mountains covered in white — evidence of just how much precipitation the storm brought in.

But is it enough?

San Francisco Chronicle:

This October has suddenly become the wettest in more than 130 years for the Marin Municipal Water District, officials reported Tuesday. The district’s seven reservoirs in the Mount Tamalpais watershed increased from just 32% to nearly 50% of total capacity after a weekend of rain, district data shows.

The numbers are especially critical for Marin, which, unlike much of the rest of the Bay Area, does not rely on Sierra reservoirs for water.

Instead, county water districts get their supply from local rain-fed rivers and lakes. Marin Municipal is the largest, serving 191,000 residents in the central and southern county, with its reservoirs providing 75% of its water supply.

As of Monday, the seven reservoirs — which have a total capacity of 79,566 acre-feet — had current storage of 39,515 acre-feet, or 49.66% of capacity. The preceding Friday, before the downpour, the reservoirs were only 33.03% filled, according to data from the water district.

Still, Monday’s total was only 67% of average storage for Oct. 25 — which means Marin, like the rest of California, needs more rain events to see any substantial improvement in drought conditions, said Marin Water Communications Manager Emma Detwiler.

As to the rest of the state, the Chronicle reports:

The state Department of Water Resources compared the amount of water in select reservoirs across the state as of midnight Oct. 25 to the capacity of each reservoir and to historic levels for the same date. The data shows that, even after all of Sunday and Monday’s rainfall, many of California’s largest reservoirs are still holding less water than the historic level for this time of year.

One Response to “Cali Storms Brought Welcome Rain, but Restoring Reservoirs Will Need Much, Much More”

  1. jimbills Says:

    There’s not a recent political post to add this to, and it’s off topic on this post, but this is a thorough take on Sinema for those interested:
    POLITICO: What’s Kyrsten Sinema Up To? It’s Pretty Obvious..
    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/27/kyrsten-sinema-ambition-loyalty-517224


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