Storm Brings Little Relief to Water Crisis

January 22, 2009 6:14:58 PM PST
Thursday's storm comes in the middle of what is suppose to be the Valley's rainy season, but so far, this year's rainfall is falling short. Not enough rain and snow has fallen to meet all the Valley's needs. Right now we've only accumulated a third of our water needs, but experts say there's still time to make up the differenceDavid Jimenez and his brother are hunting for gold. He got a blip. It turned out to be trash like most of what he found. Jimenez said he came to Millerton Lake, because the water levels are so low. Parts usually under water are now exposed-a sign of a valley thirsting for more rain.

Randy McFarland is with the Kings River Conservation, "We wish season looked a lot better. Even with this storm, its not looking as good as we need it to look."

McFarland said the Valley simply can't afford a third, consecutive disappointing rainy season. The Kings River is running low. Some farmers already abandoned their fields because not enough water is available. But McFarland said time is on our side, "If we had a whole bunch of little storms like the one we just had or a few really good storms, it will go a long way to make up the deficiency."

Another sign of a dry season, Fresno's ponding basins are low. Bob Van Wyk with flood control expected a half an inch of rain which is yet another disappointment, "We'd really like the basin sites to have more water in them. The community relies on that water to recharge the underground reservoir."

A snow pack survey will be conducted next week. At that time, experts will have a more precise update on our water crisis.

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