Over 1 billion gallons of rainfall captured

The 16 days of rain in January did more than green the hillsides; they also delivered over 1 billion gallons of water to Irvine Lake.

Paul Cook is the general manager of Irvine Ranch Water District.

The recent rains have helped local water supply reliability in many ways, such as recharging groundwater, reducing demands and providing water for capture in Irvine Lake. Farther north, the snowpack and increased reservoir levels go a long way to help many areas throughout California.

Locally, Irvine Ranch Water District captured all of the stormwater from the creeks that flow into Irvine Lake. This water – more than a billion gallons in the first 16 days of the year alone – is enough to serve more than 11,000 households, or nearly 28,000 people, for a year.

We also saw a 14% drop in water use during this same 16-day period due, in part, to customers shutting off their irrigation timers in response to the rain.

But it’s the district’s local groundwater supplies, recycled water system and other facilities that really make the difference when it comes to water security. These resources have also seen a boost from the rains, with increases in the amount of groundwater and recycled water stored for use in the future.

IRWD’s water supplies remain very reliable, and the recent storms only improved our situation. Thanks to our customers doing what they can to save water, and our history of developing cost-effective, local sources of water to serve the community, we have the resources to weather this drought and keep our rates low.

Eighty-one percent of the district’s water needs are served by local sources developed by IRWD. This includes 27 groundwater wells and five treatment facilities, Irvine Lake and recycled water systems used for public and commercial landscape irrigation, cooling towers, and many other uses.

IRWD’s water banks, which store water and save it for use when the need is critical, provide an additional tool to increase water reliability and safeguard IRWD customers from the higher costs and challenges associated with imported water.

For more information, visit irwd.com/services/water.