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Climate and Environment

Some 'Splashy' News: It's One Of The Wettest Years On Record, And A Critical SoCal Reservoir Is Getting A Whole Lot of Water

Water flows in big streams into the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir.
The Metropolitan Water District is filling the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir for the first time since 2019.
(Courtesy Metropolitan Water District)
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While the next drought year is always right around the corner, we should take wins as they come. And today, we’re cheering because for the first time in three years, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has begun refilling Diamond Valley Lake.

The reservoir is one of the largest stores of water for those of us living in the southern portion of the state. A critical resource to help us get through dry years.

The tap for the reservoir turns off when things run dry, something we saw during the 2012-2015 droughts and again in 2019.

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Since then, we’ve been drawing on it heavily, depleting it to about 60% of its 264-billion-gallon capacity. The drought was so severe that the MWD instituted mandatory water restrictions, and communities that rely heavily on water from the State Water Project suffered.

“Our water supplies have improved dramatically after three years of record-breaking drought,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said in a press release.

We’ve seen increasingly positive water news start to trickle out in recent weeks.

The MWD’s water restrictions were lifted in early March, and California’s Department of Water Resources announced they should be able to deliver twice the amount of water they anticipated they’d be able to, just a month ago.

During a board meeting today, Anselmo Collins with the LADWP said that, for L.A., “this is more than likely the wettest year in history.”

According to Collins, the agency has captured roughly 100,000 acre feet of stormwater, the equivalent amount of water used by 400,000 households. That’s the largest amount of stormwater ever captured, he said.

If you’re wondering whether your water restrictions are still in place, you’re going to have to check in with your local water agency.

But, given California's extreme swings between wet and dry, it's always time to prepare for the next water recession.

“It’s like having a savings account with your finances,” said Brandon Goshi, manager of resource planning at the MWD. “In a recession, we were able to use the assets and resources in that account to get through that situation. And now we need to refill that account and add to it so we can get through future situations.”

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