Monday, January 4, 2016

Reservoirs are Full--Is the Drought Over?

People have been asking:  Why are the Crystal Springs and San Andreas reservoirs so full in the wake of such a long, continuing drought? That’s because we are constantly managing and adjusting the water levels in our local reservoirs--with some help from local rain runoff.  

Hetch Hetchy water enters the Peninsula segment of the regional water system through Pulgas Tunnel, and surplus is released into the reservoir near Pulgas Water Temple. 

The guiding philosophy is to fill our reservoirs during the rainy season for use in the high-demand summer months—or in case of emergency. For example, if a natural disaster or something else unforeseen should disrupt our Hetch Hetchy supply, we have enough locally stored water to keep serving our customers.

 Also the scenic stockpile allows us to perform regular maintenance on our regional system. For the past several years, we’ve been taking the Hetch Hetchy system offline in January for this routine but critical work. We start keeping the local reservoirs at higher levels during late fall in readiness for having to draw on them in January to supply customer demand.  

In short, the year-round management gives us operational flexibility at all times, and a reliable store of emergency source water.  Normally, about 85% of our tap water comes from Hetch Hetchy, with the rest provided by local rainfall and runoff. 

That said, remember: our statewide drought is still in effect, even in winter. Keep up your good work, and continue reducing your water use by 10%.   


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