The rain and snow that have been hitting the Bay Area over the past few days are good news for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Vasona Reservoir is filled to 101 percent capacity, and that is not unusual. Throughout California, reservoirs are now holding more water than they usually do by this date, with the one exception being Folsom Lake. In the last three days alone, water reserves in the Santa Clara Valley Water District have increased by 1.5 billion gallons.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all the extra water is expendable. The Water District serves about 1.8 million people, each of whom uses a certain amount of water every day. Take something simple, like toilet flushes for example. That takes about 3 gallons, and it is fairly safe to assume that everyone flushes at least once a day, for 5.4 million gallons. Multiply that by 365 (1,971 billion gallons), and the recent storm gets flushed away. And that doesn’t take into account other necessary water heavy activities like showers (2.5 gallons per minute), brushing your teeth (1 gallon), washing your clothes (10 gallons per load), or running the dishwasher (20 gallons per load). On average, people use about 183 gallons per person per day, so it is still worth using water sparingly.