Storm makes small impact on San Diego's reservoirs - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Storm makes small impact on San Diego's reservoirs

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Despite all the damage the storm caused, the rain was a welcome sight for drought-stricken Southern California.

Rainfall totals shattered records for July, but did the storm help boost water levels at San Diego Reservoirs?

Despite the record rainfall, a look above the Sutherland Reservoir makes it clear that the water level is not where it once was, and from the shore, a tree line indicates where water levels once reached.

There are nine reservoirs owned and operated by the City of San Diego, and most show the harsh reality of the severity of the four-year-long drought in Southern California.

"Almost all of our reservoirs are very low. A couple we import water into so they look fuller than they are, but they're full because we're importing water into them. The ones that just rely on rain water capture are seeing significant reductions because of the drought," said Brent Eidson.

Eidson who works for San Diego's Public Utilities Department, said in total, all of the city's reservoirs collected approximately 400-acre-feet of water due to the weekend's record breaking storm.

Sutherland received the most because of its East County location, where rain totals measured above four-inches. That is enough to supply nearly 1,000 homes for an entire year.

A big number, but not nearly enough.

"If you look at what our average rainfall is in San Diego, we're around 10-inches a year. We're gonna need to see over and above that for 5-6 years to get those reservoirs full again," said Eidson.

It's important to remember, and legally required, to conserve and hope that mother nature continues to do her part.

"[We] need to be mindful of how we're using water and pray for more rain and winter storms to supply the Sierra with snow. That's where we get most of our water. The last time this reservoir was full was back in 2005. Back then people could rent boats here, but with the drought, that's no longer the case," he said.

While Sutherland is low, city officials said the Lake Morena Reservoir in Campo has the lowest level of water among all nine of the city's reservoirs.

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