Watch CBS News

No March Miracle: Bay Area, California Remains In Drought As End Of Rainy Season Arrives

SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – Approaching rain this weekend is something of an ironic twist to a very disappointing winter, as California will end its rainy season, deep in drought. This year, there will be no miracle.

"That's right, we do have a miracle Marches," said Nelsy Rodriguez with the East Bay Municipal Utility District. "Every few years we do get a big downpour in March."

It was March of 1991 that really set the standard for monthly miracles when massive rainfall, and 60% of the average snowpack total fell in a matter of weeks, effectively busting a drought that started in 1988.

This year, March is going to leave us not that far from where the winter started.

"East Bay MUD is still currently in a stage one drought," Rodriguez told KPIX 5. "We are requesting a 10% conservation from our customers."

East Bay MUD saw a recent increase in water use which they associate with landscaping work during recent warm weather.

The third year of drought will only bring more challenges, because the utility has already reached into its supply of drought resources.

"This year this year we have pulled from our supplemental supplies," Rodriguez  explains. "That's the Freeport regional water facility."

Next week will bring an important update for East Bay water supplies when the April 1st snow survey is held.

It's not expected to be encouraging. After a strong start, California is leaving its rain season with 94% of the state already in "severe" drought, another 37% in "extreme" drought.

"You know we had that incredible storm in October," said Donald Seymour with Sonoma Water. "And then, again, a really incredible wet December that made us feel like we were gonna get out of this situation. Then everything just turned off January 1 basically."

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.