Winter storms bode well for local water supply


    California has had over 18 trillion gallons of water dumped on it since the start of February (KBAK/KBFX photo).

    If you think it's been a wet winter, you'd definitely be right.

    Since the start of February, more than 18 trillion gallons of water have been dumped across California as storms have battered the state.

    And that's good news for Kern County.

    "You'll see that there's some water in the Kern River because of the healthy storms that we've had both locally, in our local mountains, as well as further up in the Sierra Nevadas,” Art Chianello, the water resources manager for the city of Bakersfield, said.

    But beyond having water in the river, Chianello says the recent storms also bode well for our local water supply.

    Some of that supply comes from the mountains.

    "We have heavy precipitation in the mountains, that turns into snow. And then that snow eventually will melt later on, so it gives us a water supply later on in the year,” Chianello said.

    Other parts of the supply come from the water captured here in the valley.

    "The current precipitation that's occurring now within city limits, all of that water is, is being captured and it is going into the underground for storage. So, it is helping the underground aquifer,” Chianello said.

    Chianello says if current projections hold, we're expected to have about 20 percent more water than normal this year.

    But reminds everyone that can change with little notice.

    "There'll be another update from Department of Water Resources in the coming months and we'll be tracking that very closely to see if we're on target to be above average and where we land for this particular year."

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