CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (KPIX 5) — The past week’s storm drenched the Bay Area, essentially doubling rainfall totals for this winter. But the impact on the Bay Area’s water supply depends on where you look and who you ask.
The storm provided some much-needed water after a dry fall. While it was a good week, Department of Water Resources spokesperson Chris Orrock says we need more.READ MORE: Newsom Receives COVID Vaccine Booster At Oakland Event Promoting State's Vaccination Push
“The ground was so dry that a lot of the moisture was absorbed into the soils instead of running off into our reservoirs and streams,” said Orrock.
Lake Shasta saw some improvement in water levels, but is still only at 70% of normal for this time of year. As of Friday morning, Lake Oroville was at 54% normal for January.
In the middle of the state, New Melones Lake is at 109% of normal, but the average of the top 12 lakes and reservoirs across the state is only 77% of where they should be. Snow levels are looking much better.READ MORE: UPDATE: Broken Water Main in San Jose Cancels Elizabeth Holmes Trial Proceedings
“What we want to do is build up that snow pack, because our snow pack is what we call the frozen reservoirs,” explained Orrock.
Many places in the Sierras received more than six feet of snow. East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Andria Pook says their watershed got a lot of that snow.
“Snow pack is looking really good! We measure at a spot called Caples lake. We went from, I think 26 inches to 79 inches of snow,” said Pook.MORE NEWS: Combination Bomb Cyclone and Atmospheric River Drenches State But Impact on Drought Still Unknown
Most residents were glad to see the rain after so many dry months. Another much needed storm system is forecast to arrive next week.