Despite season’s rain, region has ‘long way to go’

Downtown Hollister during a rain storm.

The head of the local water conservation agency told Hollister council members Monday that although the area has experienced about 12 inches of precipitation this rainy season, it wasn’t nearly enough to get the community out of the four-year drought.
This has been a good year for rain compared with recent years with dismal, record-breaking low totals. The 12 inches measured by the water agency, however, puts Hollister on pace for a relatively average year. The National Weather Service’s Monterey Bay office previously offered a separate measurement of 13 inches for the local area.
Shawn Novack, program manager for the Water Resources Association of San Benito County, presented to the Hollister council Monday and offered updates on the rain and conservation efforts.
“We’re thankful for the rain,” he said. “It’s helped out a lot, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Novack told city officials the community would’ve needed to see 23 inches of rain to get all caught up from the drought’s impacts on reservoirs and groundwater. He said the area still runs at a bit of a deficit with water resources.
“That’s why we really need to stretch our water,” Novack said.
Novack in the same discussion mentioned that the San Benito County Water District, which oversees his agency, is set to go online in July or August with a new recycled water pipeline that could add about 1,000 acre-feet of water in an area that needs about 20,000.
He also broached how local enforcement authorities have not issued any citations for water use since the state imposed severe restrictions last year.


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