Watch CBS News

Despite The Wet Winter, Cutting Water Usage Is Still A Good Idea

LOS ANGELES ( —  It feels like it's been one storm after another. Southern California has gotten a lot of rain over the last six weeks, filling reservoirs and groundwater basins.

"In the last six weeks, we've captured about 4300 acre-feet and an acre-foot is enough water for a family of four for a year," Steve Elie, of Inland Empire Utilities agencies, said.

The rain and snow has also been falling in Northern California, where more than 30 percent of our water comes from.

Water agencies say even though reservoirs are starting to fill back up, conservation efforts can't end.

It's going take an awful lot of snow in Northern California and an awful lot of rain in Southern California to get us out of this drought," Tim Barr, of Western Municipal Water District, said.  "I don't predict that we will get out anytime soon."

Take a look at these maps.


All the deep red on the left shows how dry California was in January 2016. One year later, Northern California looks better but much of Southern California is still in an extreme drought.

"This whole wonderful society was built in a desert area that's very arid," Elie said "Drought conditions are probably the norm, not the unusual."

So don't be fooled by the weather right now, cutting down on water usage is still a good idea for all of us in Southern California.

"Maybe this is just the one wet year in ten, we just don't know. So we can't stop doing what we've been doing because otherwise we will potentially run out of that resource," Elie said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.