Friday April 8, 2022

NBC Bay Area

As the Bay Area experiences a spring heat wave amid severe drought conditions, an East Bay water district once again is raising concerns over water supply.

East Bay Municipal Utility District, which provides water for about 1.4 million customers in Oakland, Berkeley, Walnut Creek and the San Ramon Valley, says the water supply outlook remains “dismal.”

While the end of 2021 was very promising with a major winter storm, 2022 has been far from fruitful. EBMUD officials say January, February and March have been the driest in the district’s history, with only 2.5 inches of rain.

EBMUD reservoirs are 71% full, and the agency’s conservation requests of 10% aren’t being met, with customers reducing use by 7%. In a few weeks, the agency could be asking to cut back more.

“In this past year, when we began to ask our customers for conservation, at that same time, we pulled in water with our contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation,” EBMUD spokesperson Andrea Pook said. “Between those two actions, we have an extra 35,000 acre feet, which puts us in a better position for this year going forward. We are at less of a risk for a very severe restriction.”

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