With the widely discussed drought in California, and recent storms in the past week throughout Central Valley communities, there has been discussion on the impact of the rainfall in relation to its impact on drought levels.
According to statistics from Turlock Irrigation District – Site 1, throughout the month of December, there has been a total of 4.28 inches of rain as of Friday. From Dec. 11, rain was at 1.26 inches total and increased to 3.55 inches by Dec. 12. As of Dec. 17, rainfall for the month was at 4.16 inches, and as of Dec. 19 stands at 4.28 inches.
Rainfall year to date is at 11.01 inches, nearly doubling from Dec. 1, where there was a total of 6.73 inches of rainfall.
TID Representative Calvin Curtin said that recent precipitation has not affected the Don Pedro Reservoir significantly, noting that it is up about one foot overall from the storms.
Of note, TID’s water comes from the mountains above Don Pedro. The Don Pedro Water Bank, as of Dec. 16, has 257,614 acre-feet of water.
The snowpack is where a significant portion of the water stored in Don Pedro comes, therefore much more rain and snow are needed.
“Although we've seen quite a bit of rain here in the Valley, the Tuolumne River Watershed didn't get all that much,” said Curtin in relation to the recent storm.
The Watershed is experiencing record lows in relation to its accumulation of precipitation. In October 2014, it received .15 inches in comparison to the average 1.99 inches, in Nov. 3.56 to the average 4.22 and in Dec. 3.97 in comparison to the average 5.96.
Additionally, the snow sensors in the Tuolumne River Basin show that the snowpack is about 40% of average for this date.
“We're very appreciative for the rain and snow we have received so far this year, but we are still in a critically dry period and we ask everyone to continue to do what they can to conserve water,” said Curtin.