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Despite Record Drought, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Levels At 92 Percent

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), which supplies drinking water to 2.6 million Bay Area customers, says Hetch Hetchy's supply looks good heading into summer, but conservation remains a top priority.

Conservationists and officials alike made another push on Tuesday for Hetch Hetchy customers to reduce their use as we enter some of the driest months.

SFPUC said as of this week, the Hetch Hetchy reservoir is at 92 percent capacity. Assistant General Manager for Water Steven Ritchie credits the way the system is managed along with lower customer demand and storms in the Yosemite area over the past few weeks.

"We're in better shape than others relative to storage. Are we in great shape? No, we're in a drought. We have had to cut our total system storage by about a third as we've supplied water during this drought," Ritchie said.

The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) represents the PUC's 1.7 million residential customers and 30,000 business customers outside of San Francisco.

BAWSCA CEO Nicole Sandkulla said the governor's request is to cut their use by 17 percent. Last year member agencies reduced it by 14 percent.

"80 percent of that savings occurred between June and October. The summer months are really where we have the opportunity to achieve those savings."

She said to get more cuts in water use; they've expanded rebate programs for lawn removal and high efficiency toilets and washing machines.

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