Take that, drought! ‘Incredibly wet’ October lifts SF’s water supply

Rain is falling from the skies at a rate San Francisco hasn’t seen since 1983, according to Ellen Levin, deputy manager for water for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

And that has turned around the dismal drought numbers of last year.

The commission oversees the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which is the source of drinking water for San Francisco and beyond.

“Total system storage is at 77.6 percent. This time last year we were at 45.4 percent. We’ve got a significant increase in storage,” Levin told the agency’s commission this week.

“Water bank is at 82.7 percent. This time last year water bank was at 32.6 percent,” Levin said. What all that means is a “significant improvement for us on our water system storage.”

Levin said reservoirs across the state are being lifted by the rain amounts. “We are seeing most of the reservoirs in the state at 100 percent of their historical average for this time of year,” Levin said.

Precipitation in the Hetch Hetchy region area hit 6.8 inches last month. “October was incredibly wet. In fact, in our 95 years of history, this October was the second highest, 1983 being the first highest with precipitation,” Levin said.

Locally, precipitation in the Bay Area in October hit 4.8 inches, whereas the historical mean is 1.25 inches.

She noted that the Don Pedro reservoir is at 102 percent of historical average whereas at the same time last year it was 49 percent, while the Shasta reservoir is at 105 percent compared to 52 percent last year.

“The state is looking up from last year,” she said.