Lots of rain means lots of water
THIS GRAPH SHOWS the historical levels of Lake Sonoma over the past four years.
Sonoma County Water Agency
After last week's pounding storms, Sonoma is sitting pretty when it comes to water reservoirs.
"I couldn't be more pleased. The water supply pool is 100 percent full at the moment," said Krishna Kumar, general manager of the Valley of the Moon Water District. "It's the best we've been in three or four years."
Sonoma's major water source, Lake Sonoma, is filled to 289,000 acre-feet. An acre foot is 325,851 gallons, or the amount of water that would cover an acre - roughly a football field - one foot deep. Comparing year over year for late March, 2011 marks the highest water level in the past four years. While 2009 offered a relatively dry winter, 2010 got back on track with a wet winter and spring.
"We're in even better shape this year than we were last year," said Ann DuBay, spokeswoman for the Sonoma County Water Agency. "I think we're pretty happy with the water we have now."
In the past two weeks, Sonoma has been doused by 5.57 inches of rain, including 1.18 inches of rainfall between Friday and Sunday. While at times the storms caused power outages, fender benders and falling trees, it provided a healthy amount of water for the Valley as we move into the drier months.
Last weekend's heavy rainfall caused a wastewater overflow in Sonoma, which was detected at a manhole on Oman Springs Court early Saturday morning. Wastewater flowed at a rate of between two and five gallons a minute into Sonoma Creek, but DuBay said it's unlikely fish or other wildlife were impacted because the large amount of rainwater significantly diluted the wastewater.
This is the second time wastewater overflowed in that location in the past week. DuBay said the agency has been in contact with San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish and Game, Sonoma County Health Services and the Office of Emergency Services regarding the spills.
Looking at the upcoming forecast, Sonoma should dry out in coming weeks, with clear or mostly clear skies predicted all week.
Water officials said it is too soon in the calendar year to predict whether the Valley will face another drought summer, but it is looking good so far.
"As of now we're pretty comfortable," Kumar said, adding that regardless of water supply, water usage should always be considered. "Conservation is important at any time."