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More Rain Drenching San Diego County But Full Local Reservoirs Do Not Secure Local Water Supply

A rainy street in Golden Hill, San Diego is pictured in this photo, March 18,...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A rainy street in Golden Hill, San Diego is pictured in this photo, March 18, 2020.

The San Diego region is being drenched by a rare spring storm system, but all that moisture isn’t adding much to the region’s supply of drinking water.

The snow was falling in the San Diego county mountains on Wednesday, pretty heavily in some places.

That comes courtesy of a slow-moving cold storm system coming into the region from the north.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

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The region’s National Weather Service office called this prolonged six-week run of rain in March and April, pretty rare for the region.

“Very rare actually for the month of April here in Southern California,” said Greg Gregoria, a meteorologist at the San Diego National Weather Service office. “And it just keeps delivering waves of showers and we could even see a few thunderstorms.”

Rain and snow are likely to keep falling off and on for the rest of the week as a remarkable spring run of wet weather continues.

April, Gregoria pointed out, is usually the time of year when things begin drying out.

Rainfall readings at the San Diego airport are running 1½ inches above normal.

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Reported by Erik Anderson

The region typically gets about 10 inches of rainfall in a calendar year.

“It was very dry in January and February and in March and ever since we’ve been really blessed,” Gregoria said.

But the recent rains aren’t doing much to boost the region’s drinking water supply.

San Diego County Water Authority officials say some reservoirs in San Diego are designed to hold imported water, not to catch storm runoff from a large watershed.

The Authority says water from the Colorado River and the Sierra Nevada snowpack in the state’s central mountain range are better indicators about the future water supply.

“Northern California is still seeing well below, below-normal precipitation and snowpack,” said Goldy Herbon, a water resource specialist at the San Diego County Water Authority. “They’re hovering around 60% of normal for this time of year."

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Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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