Yes, that’s right. We expect to set a low rainfall record this year for the January-February time frame even though our reservoir storage levels are above average. With only 2.07 inches of rain received at Lake Lagunitas since the first of the year, and no rain in the forecast for the remaining days of February, we are on track to set a new record low for January-February rainfall. The previous low of 3.43 inches dates back to 1920. Average rainfall for January and February combined is about 20 inches.
Paradoxically, our reservoir storage levels are actually above average at 97 percent of capacity today compared to the average of 88 percent. Why? Two reasons: one, we entered the rainy season last fall with above-average storage and two, we had an extremely rainy November and December. We received 29.27 inches in the last two months of 2012, nearly double the average of 15 inches for that two-month period.
Here are the current water statistics:
- Reservoir Levels – As of February 25 reservoir storage is 77,196 acre-feet,* or 97 percent of capacity. The average for this date is 70,074 acre-feet, or 88 percent of capacity. Total capacity is 79,566 acre-feet.
- Rainfall – Rainfall this year (July 1, 2012 to February 25, 2013) is 35.38 inches. Last year for the same period we had 18.45 inches; average is 38.45 inches.
- Water Use – Water use for the week ending February 25 averaged 17.4 million gallons per day, compared to 17.1 million gallons per day for the same week last year.
- Creek Releases – During the month of January 2013 MMWD released 376 million gallons, or a total of 1,155 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.
Current water use and reservoir figures can be found on the homepage of our website.
*One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.