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Approaching storm unlikely to help North Bay reservoir levels

Approaching storm unlikely to help North Bay reservoir levels much
Approaching storm unlikely to help North Bay reservoir levels much 02:27

SONOMA COUNTY -- The rain arriving in Northern California is certainly welcome news, but it's not likely to deliver much in the way of water to be stored in North Bay reservoirs. 

After another dry stretch, it will take more than this round of rain just to re-prime the pump.

"I was trying to find some kind of screen for this," Healdsburg resident Penny said of her new water tanks. "But I ended up getting a pizza pan because they didn't have one for 18 inches. So we'll see how it works. This is all kind of a work in progress."

Penny's rain catchment system is a work in progress, another part of Healdsburg's ambitious conservation efforts. But one can't conserve what doesn't fall. California needs more rain.

"Of course," Penny said. "Everybody's ready for rain."

"What we're going to get is really going to wet the watershed," explained Deputy Chief Engineer with Sonoma Water Don Seymour. "It might result in some inflow to the reservoirs, but not significant."

Seymour says storage is tracking pretty close to 2021 levels, which is not good. Another problem is that we still haven't received enough rain to get the watershed ready to move a lot of water into our reservoirs. The dry ground is still soaking it up.

"Yeah, we are pretty far from being primed," Seymour lamented. "It's hard to say what that number is. Used to be, back of the envelope, when I was asked that I would say 8 to 10 inches of rain. It's hard to say that now because we're in the third year of a drought. So is it 8 to 10 inches? Or now is it 12 to 14 inches? It's kind of a wait and see. We have to be patient."

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