North Bay’s reservoirs are filling up again, but residents say conservation is here to stay


SAN RAFAEL – The drought picture in North Bay has improved significantly in recent weeks. Reservoirs are full in Marin County, but for many this doesn’t change their efforts to save.

Many residents were caught off guard by the storms that drenched the Bay Area.

“Crazy!” said Nastasja Martinez. “I’ve only lived here three years and I’ve never seen weather like this.”

Anna Haight agrees. “It was wild. I grew up in the Seattle area and we had some wild animals there, but I think these are better than those.”

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Haight, like many others, is happy to hear that the drought has improved with the recent bout of wet weather. In recent years she tried to save. She turned the water on and off during her showers. With the reservoirs full, Haight said, “I’d like a warm bath. A bubble bath. Just soak.”

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This atmospheric river storm sequence is what many water districts have been hoping to see for years.

“Since New Year’s Day, we have recorded 15 inches of rain at Lake Lagunitas. That is one of the district’s seven reservoirs. As of Tuesday morning, all our reservoirs are full,” says Adriane Martens of Marin Water.

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While supply was low, Martens says customers did a fantastic job last year in reducing water use by 25 percent. Marin Water will continue to ask residents to follow restrictions to prepare for future droughts.

“Here, locally, our water supply looks good for years to come, but we will certainly keep thinking about the long term. We have ongoing water usage rules that will remain in place for our customers,” explains Mertens.

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Those restrictions include repairing leaks within 48 hours and watering your landscape only twice a week. Many customers say that conservation after years of severe drought will not be difficult.

“It’s now so ingrained that trying to save water, being more sensible about lawn care is an enduring habit right now.” Haight said, “I think it’s a good idea because we’re in California and long-term climate change is going to affect us.”