Despite rain showers and clouds for most of the past five days, the dreaded El Niño has not drenched the Hill. The rain that has fallen since Thursday is barely half of the historic April showers on the Hill.

Pine Cove has recorded 1.56 inches this week, while the Keenwild Ranger Station has recorded 1.46 inches. Normal rainfall for April is about 2 inches.

With this week’s rain, the total since July 1, 2015, has been more than 23 inches in Pine Cove and 19 inches at Keenwild, which is at a lower elevation. The historic average rainfall from July 1 through the end of March is 22.8 inches and 24.8 inches through the end of April.

The last time rainfall amounts reached the historic average of 25.7 inches for a full year was 2011. In 2010, rainfall came within 2 inches of the average.

Statewide, the Department of Water Resources reported, “Water content of the mountain snow pack today is only 87 percent of the March 30 historical average.”

According to the agency’s press release, California’s snow pack usually reaches its peak depth and water content each year around the first of April. Last week’s measurements were disappointing since many “… had expected to benefit more than [they have] from El Niño conditions.”
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Water savings

Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board reported, “Californians came just shy of meeting Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent water conservation mandate” since June.

Between June 2015 and February 2016, water production declined by 1.2-million-acre-feet or 23.9 percent compared to the same nine months in 2013. This amounted to 96 percent of the 1.24-million-acre-feet goal.

“Twenty-four percent savings shows enormous effort and a recognition that everyone’s effort matters,” SWRCB Chair Felicia Marcus said in the press release. “Californians rose to the occasion, reducing irrigation, fixing leaks, taking shorter showers and saving our precious water resources in all sorts of ways.”

Locally, the customers of all three water districts have reduced their consumption in the past nine months compared to the same period in 2013-14. The greatest fall was Fern Valley Water District, where production was down 22 percent.