Storm helps recharge water supply

The snowpack and rain plays a very important part in replenishing our water supply. In fact, the water flooding your neighborhood may quench your thirst one day.
February 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The snowpack and rain plays a very important part in replenishing our water supply. In fact, the water flooding your neighborhood may quench your thirst one day.

Thursday's storm helped to recharge Fresno's underground reservoir, which draws its supply from Friant and Pine Flat dams.

Flooded streets may be difficult to maneuver but the steady flow of water into our storm drains is a welcome sight. Rain pouring into the drain winds up in one of 137 ponding basins operated by the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.

District general manager Bob Van Wyk said, "We basically have as much capacity as we think anyone could throw at us and we'd like to be tested on that."

Rainwater collected through neighborhood and commercial storm drains is treated and eventually becomes our drinking water so dumping chemicals into a system which recharges our underground supply is a bad idea.

In dry years water from the Fresno Irrigation District is shared among farmers and cities. FID general manager Gary Serrato said, "These storms obviously they help but we're a long way from getting back to normal. We need probably need 20 more of these storms to get back to normal."

Van Wyk held out hope the storms start lining up. "We could take probably 6 to 7 inches of rain over a pretty short period of time and it would start filling up the basin sites at that point."

The flood control district has used a $225,000 state grant to bore holes in some ponding basins to increase capacity.


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