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CA Drought: New Marin Water Restrictions Catch Some Residents Off Guard

SAN RAFAEL (KPIX) -- It may feel like the Bay Area has had some good rain, so far in 2021, but starting December 1 parts of Marin County will implement tough new water restrictions. It has caught some residents off guard.

Some, like Nancy Bush. were even unaware they were still in a drought.

"I'm pretty surprised because I thought we were coming out of the drought," said Bush.

From December 1 to May 31 of 2022, customers of Marin Municipal Water District will no longer be able to do outdoor irrigation and if their water use for a 4-person household exceeds 65 gallons of water per person per day, they'll have to pay more.

"It gave us a prediction that we're going to pay a $25 penalty based on last year," says resident John Glenn. "First of all we're not going to use as much as last year because we can't irrigate and $25 isn't going to break the bank."

KPIX did check in on Alpine Lake after the storms and it was 97% full, a huge difference compared to this drone footage captured before the rain. But according to Marin Water's website, the storage in all its reservoirs is 58% of capacity, which is 8% less than the average for this date. Some wonder though if the restrictions should be eased just a bit.

"That feels a little bit extreme since we did have the big rains and I thought that the reservoirs are filled again," says Bush.

Marin Water's goal is to conserve 40% district-wide. Residents say they don't mind doing their part to cut back on water but some want to know how severe the drought really is.

John Glenn asks, "The main thing is, is the drought over or not over? "

We reached out to Marin Water and the Board President to ask if it there was any thought into modifying the restrictions but did not hear back by the time this story aired.

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