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San Diego Soaks Up Water Savings Following Storm

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.

Rainfall Totals

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.

California Department of Water Resources

This chart shows the Northern Sierra's wettest and driest years of precipitation.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | March 5, 2014 at 8:35 a.m. ― 3 years ago

and when the brush dries out and is ready to burn ?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Cody'

Cody | March 11, 2014 at 12:37 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Then we'll have wildfires, like every year. You knew that, right? I don't get your question.

( | suggest removal )