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MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin

Welcome to our blog! Written by staff at MMWD, “Think Blue Marin” explores all things water in south and central Marin—water supplies, conservation, new projects, watershed management, and more.

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Dec 10

Preparing for El Niño

Posted on December 10, 2015 at 4:42 PM by Ann Vallee

We've all seen the predictions for an unusually strong El Niño winter this year. After four years of drought, extra precipitation would be good news for water supplies here in Marin and across California. But heavy rains also could have damaging impacts on MMWD's Mt. Tamalpais Watershed and our expansive water distribution system, which stretches from the San Geronimo Valley to the edges of the Bay and from Sausalito to north San Rafael. Thus we've taken a number of steps to be prepared.

To help prevent flooding, we've cleared hundreds of culverts on the watershed and at facility sites throughout our service area. MMWD maintains over 200 storage tanks and pump stations, so there are a lot of facilities to prepare and monitor! We've also installed sandbags and plastic sheeting to help limit erosion.

Another concern is downed power lines, which can impact our ability to keep the water flowing to your tap 24/7. It takes electricity to pump water over hills and to your home, so MMWD has invested in emergency generators and pumps to keep the system operating even if the power goes out. Earlier this fall we conducted our annual generator training to ensure staff are prepared to manage multiple generators, as needed. We've also stocked up on other emergency response equipment and supplies, confirmed that our radio communications equipment is in working order should cell and land lines go down, and conducted trainings in our onsite Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

MMWD is working hard to ensure our water is there when needed most, but there are also some simple steps you can take to be ready in an emergency. See our brochure Emergency Preparedness: Got Water? to get started.

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