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Dec 01

Water Conservation: More than a California Concern

Posted to MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin on December 1, 2016 at 10:35 AM by Ann Vallee

by Alyssa Pfluger, MMWD CivicSpark Water Fellow

Conservation has become a way of life in California. But even in other states or countries with more abundant freshwater supplies, water efficiency is still critical. 

Here’s why:

Limited resource: In Marin, we’re used to thinking of water as a limited resource. But globally, too, there is only so much freshwater available. Although 75% of the earth is water, 97.5% of that water is saline ocean water. That means only about 2.5% of earth’s water is freshwater, and most of that is frozen in icecaps and glaciers, or trapped too far underground to reach. Only 1% of all freshwater worldwide (liquid and frozen) is available for use.

Watershed health: Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) customers aren’t the only ones who depend on MMWD water: For every two gallons of water we provide to our customers, we release about one gallon of water for fish habitat. Elsewhere, too, it’s common for lakes and rivers to be shared by communities both inside and outside the watershed, as well as local fish and wildlife. Saving water helps to ensure there’s water when we need it. 

Variable weather: Rainfall in Marin varies widely from year to year; since we started keeping records in 1879, we’ve received as much as 112 inches in a year and as little as 19. We never know when the next dry year will be, so using water wisely is always important. This is true elsewhere, too: Every region in the world receives a variable amount of rain each year. As climate change alters global weather patterns, precipitation may become even more unpredictable—and conservation even more important. 

Energy savings: Even in places with abundant freshwater, it takes energy to pump water from its source, as well as treat, distribute, and heat it. Every time we save water, all the energy involved in the process is saved as well—which in turn saves money and reduces pollution.

Water conservation isn’t just a California issue; it’s a global necessity. So if you’re traveling this season, remember the importance of worldwide conservation. With your California-conservation habits already in place, you’re good to go!

Nov 10

What’s up with Conservation?

Posted to MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin on November 10, 2016 at 2:08 PM by Ann Vallee

by Dan Carney, Water Conservation Manager

October storms delivered three times the average rainfall for this time of year, leading many people to wonder if the five-year drought is finally over, and if the state will lift water restrictions. Since January 2014, the Governor has issued eight Executive Orders related to the ongoing statewide drought. The latest order will expire at the end of January 2017, and the State Water Resources Control Board is in the process of developing a new proposal for mandatory reductions in urban water use that will presumably take effect in February. Until then, MMWD customers are asked to continue their voluntary conservation efforts.  

Fortunately, because MMWD customers have done an exceptional job of conserving, water storage in our seven reservoirs is nearly 18% above average for this date (November 10) —even though annual rainfall has been below average since 2011! 

Conserving water is one of the least expensive, most environmentally friendly and socially responsible actions you can take to support a healthy Marin-friendly lifestyle. Every time you adjust your landscape sprinklers, replace a leaky faucet or upgrade to efficient appliances it saves water, energy and money. Please check out the many conservation programs and services available to you by visiting, or call us at 415-945-1520. Thank you for helping protect our most valuable natural resource!
May 25

Reservoirs Above Average as Summer Approaches

Posted to MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin on May 25, 2016 at 11:31 AM by Ann Vallee

Thanks to customer conservation efforts and near-normal rainfall for the 2015-16 winter, MMWD's reservoir levels are well above average for this time of year. Average storage for this date is 88%; actual storage is 97%.

Here are the latest water statistics:

Reservoir Levels: As of May 24, reservoir storage is 77,026 acre-feet,* or 97% of capacity. The average for this date is 70,292 acre-feet, or 88% of capacity.

Rainfall: Rainfall this year to date (July 1, 2015 - May 24, 2016) is 49.70 inches. Average for the same period is 51.20 inches; last year on this date we had 39.64 inches.

Water Use: Water use for the week ending May 24 averaged 23.77 million gallons per day, compared to last year when water use for the week was 21.53 million gallons per day.

Creek Releases:
During the month of April 2016 MMWD released 389 million gallons, or 1,194 acre-feet, into Lagunitas and Walker creeks in west Marin for habitat enhancement.    
Visit our Water Watch page for daily updates.

*One acre-foot is 325,851 gallons