Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Reservoirs in San Diego County and northern California contain much more water than they did at this time last year, but dry forecasts for the coming months might offset December's rains, San Diego's Public Utilities Department reported today.
The positive news on northern California reservoirs and the Sierra Nevada snowpack means more water will be available to users throughout the state.
City Water Resources Manager Luis Generoso told members of the City Council's Natural Resources and Culture Committee that the volume of the Oroville Reservoir is more than double what it was one year ago, and nearly double at the Shasta Reservoir.
Diamond Valley Lake, used by the Metropolitan Water District -- San Diego's chief supplier of water -- has also nearly doubled its volume, Generoso said.
The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is 199 percent of normal. At this time last year, the figure was 81 percent of average.
Reservoirs used by the city of San Diego are 63 percent full, compared to roughly 50 percent at this time last year, he said. However, he cautioned that specific numbers are difficult to compile for comparing local capacities, because the San Vicente Reservoir is closed while the dam is raised.
He said long-range forecasts call for drier weather for the next few months, so the gains might eventually be offset.
"It's hard to say the drought is over -- I don't think it's over," Generoso said.
A trend of lower water use by San Diegans is continuing, and they should continue conservation efforts, he said.