SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – Just under a dozen atmospheric rivers have pushed nearly all of the Bay Area out of drought conditions for the first time in three years. However, state officials are hoping people will keep conservation in mind.
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All the rain has rivers and waterways nearing the brim and the latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that only slivers of Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties are still considered dry.
"In October, we ended the driest three year period in over a century and then in January, we experienced the wettest three weeks on record," said California Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot.
Crowfoot explained that the drought monitor and massive snowpack are good news, but the residual effect of the years-long drought is still present. "We still have a major deficit in our underground storage in our aquifers," he told KCBS Radio.
Given the climate pendulum swing, Crowfoot hopes people will make conservation a habit. "We simply have to be smarter about how we use water," he urged. "Regardless of the season, regardless of how much rain and snow we get."
But, some cities like Santa Rosa have rolled back drought conservation requirements entirely.
"We've got plenty of water in our reserves, and our Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino are more than at capacity in terms of storage," said Santa Rosa Councilman Chris Rogers.
Santa Rosa has received more than 35 inches of rain since December.
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