San Diego Soaks Up Water Savings Following Storm
Monday, March 3, 2014
Aired 3/3/14 on KPBS News.
San Diego's biggest benefit from this past weekend's rainfall will be the water savings from residents turning off their sprinklers.
San Diego soaked up 2 inches of rain along the coast this past weekend and more than 3 inches in the mountains.
Palomar Mountain: 8.74 inches
Julian: 5.09 inches
Valley Center: 3.65 inches
Alpine: 3.02 inches
Escondido: 2.52 inches
Santee: 2.17 inches
Poway: 1.88 inches
Lindbergh Field: 1.87 inches
Carlsbad Airport: 1.87 inches
Miramar: 1.79 inches;
Chula Vista: 1.39 inches
Del Mar: 1.23 inches
The much-needed precipitation moistened vegetation and gave a little boost to reservoir storage, but the biggest benefit will be the water savings this week from residents turning off their sprinklers.
A widespread, one-week irrigation hiatus could save the county 2,000 acre-feet of water, which is enough to serve 4,000 families for a year, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.
Up north in the Sierra Nevada, where San Diego gets 20 percent of its water supply, the storm brought up to 4 feet of snow and increased the overall state snowpack by 6 percent.
"Statewide, we’re still in a drought, and it’s a very serious drought, and the impacts are very significant," said Lesley Dobalian, water resources specialist with San Diego County Water Authority.
Dobalian said the statewide snowpack is 31 percent of average for the date.
"So that is still very low," Dobalian said. "A statewide snowpack at that level really is not what we would expect or want at this time of year, and in fact, statewide reservoirs are also still very low compared to average."
The past three-month period in San Diego, from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28, was the fourth driest since 1850, according to the National Weather Service San Diego.