Recent storms helped fill state reservoirs

Despite frequent power outages and mudslides from the heavy December and January storms, parched water reserves in Yosemite National Park have been quenched, though stocks remain lower than average and weather forecasters have warned of dry months ahead.

“The recent rain and snows have been very good for the system,” Public Utilities Commission acting manager Tony Irons told commissioners during their meeting last week.

Water is piped from Yosemite to 2.4 million people in San Francisco, San Mateo and other counties by the SFPUC, according to the commission’s figures.

Winter precipitation is stored as water in the Hetch Hetchy dam and in other Yosemite dams operated by the SFPUC, and it’s also stored as snowpack that melts and flows into rivers and dams when warmer days return.

Seventeen gallons out of every 20 gallons of water provided by the SFPUC flows from Hetch Hetchy, according to SFPUC figures.

Last week’s stormy weather pushed year-to-date precipitation at Hetch Hetchy above average levels, according to an SFPUC report.

“We’ve got some 50 to 60 inches of snow,” SFPUC hydrologist Bruce McGurk told The Examiner last week. “It’s a great reservoir.”

But McGurk warned that water reserves remain lower than normal, which is “not unusual,” he said, “for a year that follows a year as dry as 2007.”

Commission spokesman Tony Winnicker told The Examiner that people should remain “water wise,” despite the recent drenching and snowfalls.

“These rains and snows are great — but we still must see what February though April bring,” Winnicker said. “We could still end up behind.”

jupton@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Examiner file photo)
Charter amendment effort would replace elected school board with appointed body

Critics of the San Francisco Unified School District board on Monday formally… Continue reading

Jill Bonny, owner of Studio Kazoku tattoo parlor in the Haight, tattoos client Lam Vo on Friday, March 5, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
No one was fighting for tattoo artists, so they started advocating for themselves

Jill Bonny has been tattooing in the Bay Area since 2000. Four… Continue reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

(Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
Fully vaccinated? Here are the CDC guidelines for what you can do after receiving a COVID vaccine

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued its… Continue reading

Brandi Harrapence, right, has lunch with her daughter Kayla Harrapence inside Firestone Grill in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, open for inside dinning for the first time in nearly a year, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 in San Luis Obispo, California. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
California is far from herd immunity, making a 4th COVID-19 wave possible. Here’s how

Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money Los Angeles Times California is optimistic… Continue reading

Most Read