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Storm Prompts Marin Water Officials To Consider Lifting Some Water Restrictions

SAN RAFAEL (KPIX) -- The latest atmospheric river to pass through Northern California has prompted Marin Water officials to consider rolling back water restrictions, despite current drought conditions.

This weekend's intense storm brought more than 11 inches of rain to Mount Tamalpais, drenching Marin County and filling up reservoirs.

"I hear it's making a little bit of difference but could absolutely use a whole winter of it," says Marin resident Alison Campagna.

Marin Water says the capacity in 7 of its reservoirs have jumped up to 64%.

"At this point, we're not far off from Marin's historical average capacity for the same day which is 70%," says Marin Water communications manager Adriane Mertens.

With another storm expected this week, Marin may soon be out of the water shortage emergency.

Mertens adds, "We are talking about rolling back some of our water use restrictions and penalties that have been put in place."

Starting December 1, Marin Water implemented new restrictions to achieve a 40% reduction in water use district-wide. Fines were imposed for water use above the tier one level of 65 gallons per person per day. Plus, outdoor irrigation was banned until May 31st of next year.

Some residents say they wouldn't mind keeping some of the restrictions in place to stock up for another stretch of dry winters.

"We can conserve whether there is a drought or not. We don't really need to use as much water as we do," says Karla Mygaard.

Mertens also encourages conservation.

"We know that there is likely going to be dry years to come and so we want to continue to work without community and educate them on conservation as a way of life," says Mertens.

The discussion to roll back restrictions will happen at its board of directors meeting on January 4th.

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