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January 17, 2012 > Dry weather eyed with caution by water district

Dry weather eyed with caution by water district

Submitted By Frank Jahn

The Alameda County Water District announced today that the current dry spell should remind Tri-City residents to continue the water conservation habits they developed during the last drought. Although water supplies are currently more than adequate to meet demands, the long range forecast shows no rain - or snow - on the horizon.

"The water content of California's mountain snowpack is currently at 19% of normal," said Evan Buckland, ACWD's hydrologist. "Water stored in the snowpack accounts for more than half of ACWD's water supply, so winter storms - or the lack thereof - play a key role in determining how much water we'll have during the coming year. Fortunately, statewide reservoir levels are currently near or above normal due to last year's heavy snowfall, so there's currently no water supply emergency." Buckland went on to say, however, that "a dry winter could change the story considerably. We'll be monitoring the snowpack very closely."

Investments made by ACWD ratepayers over the past decades have helped to offset the current lack of rain and snow. These investments have included the development of a diverse water supply portfolio, construction of the Newark Desalination Facility, and participation in a groundwater "bank" in Kern County that provides for a dry year reserve water supply.

"ACWD customers have done an outstanding job at conserving water for the past several years," said John Weed, ACWD Board President. "Their efforts, combined with the District's water supply investments, got us through the 2007-2010 drought with no mandatory rationing and have helped to offset the effects of the recent dry weather. If the winter continues to be dry, I'm confident our customers will rise to the occasion once again."

January and February are typically California's wettest months, so ACWD officials hope to have a more definitive water supply outlook by March. Updates will be issued by the District through the press and on its website at www.acwd.org.

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