Winter storms not enough to help water levels at East Bay reservoirs

MARTINEZ, Calif. -- While this rainy season has been relatively wet, it doesn't mean Bay Area water districts will be lifting their drought restrictions, at least not right away.

Some reservoirs in Northern California, like Shasta and Oroville, are brimming thanks to a relatively wet winter. But not all of them.

Los Vaqueros near Livermore is just half full. It's a fact not lost on visitors like, some who thought it looked a lot better a few years ago.

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Storage at Los Vaqueros are said to be about 50 percent at this point.

Unlike other Northern California reservoirs that directly benefit from runoff form the High Sierra, Los Vaqueros is in a holding pattern, at least for now.

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"Los Vaqueros is a little bit different than reservoirs like Shasta or Folsom because its filled with water that we pump up from the delta, so it's not depending on runoff. So, actually, our storage is looking pretty good for right now.," explained Jennifer Allen wit he Contra Costa Water District.

Until the Contra Costa Water District learns what its federal allocation will be, its drought management program will stay in place along with 28 percent of the state-mandated conservation rate.

And the district continues to offer incentives to its customers, like $10 coupons at the local car wash and rebates for those who choose to rip out their lawns in favor of drought resistant landscaping.

"We've cut down our usage 50-60 percent, just by getting rid of our lawn," said homeowner Ian Lockley.

And customers have answered the call, conserving 35 percent, which is well exceeding the state mandate.

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