After years of drought, reservoirs in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have dropped to record-low elevation levels. But after this weekend’s storms and with a rainy week ahead, storage levels are starting to rebound, and that's good news for future uses such as agricultural irrigation and recharging ground water supplies.
Robert Johnson from the Monterey County Water Resource Agency said the San Antonio Reservoir rose about nine feet in elevation and Nacimiento Reservoir rose over 12 feet over the weekend. But there’s still a long way to go to reach full capacity. Water stored in reservoirs is used for agricultural irrigation and recharging ground water supplies.
“The current capacity at Nacimiento is 41 percent. It would have to be 59 more percent," Johnson said.
Johnson said that with the past weekend’s storms combined with the storms in this week’s forecast, it’s likely that Monterey will be able to run the Salinas Diversion Facility, which provides irrigation water for many farmers in the Salinas Valley. The facility hasn’t been in use for the past few years because of the extreme drought.