What a difference a month can make. Just four weeks ago, on February 29, annual rainfall at Lake Lagunitas measured only 19.6 inches, or 49 percent of average. Reservoirs were below average, as well, with storage at 60,715 acre-feet* (76 percent of average). While not contemplating rationing, water managers at MMWD were already making changes to standard water system operations in order to maximize water supply this year as a precaution against a second dry winter next year.
As of today, March 28, annual rainfall has nearly doubled, at 36.14 inches. Rainfall for the month of March now measures 16.54 inches, more than double the March average of 7.36 inches. And more rain is in the forecast for the remaining few days of the month.
All of this rain leads to more good news for the reservoirs, which are now above average for this date. Here are the current water statistics:
Reservoir Levels: As of March 28, reservoir levels are 97 percent of capacity, or 77,103 acre-feet. The average for this date is 92 percent (73,208 acre-feet).
Rainfall: Rainfall from July 1, 2011, to March 28, 2012, totals 36.14 inches. Average for the same period is 45.94 inches.
Water Use: Water use for the last seven days averaged 16.17 million gallons, lower than last year’s average of 17.11 million gallons.
Creek Releases: During the month of February 2012 MMWD released 570 million gallons, or a total of 1,750 acre-feet, into Lagunitas and Walker creeks in west Marin. We release water throughout the year to maintain adequate flows for the fishery per our agreement with the State of California. We have released more water every month this winter than last to help make up for the lack of rain this year.
Current water use and reservoir figures can be found on our homepage.
*One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.