Bay Area Water District Managers on Contending with Drought and Deluge

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Open water flood control gate, Alviso, San Jose, south San Francisco bay, California (Sundry Photography via Getty Images)

It might be hard to visualize at the moment, but not long ago we were in a severe water emergency. Marin county asked for 40% cuts in usage and planned for an emergency pipeline to bring in water from the East Bay over the Richmond bridge. Now, many reservoirs are overflowing and water managers are releasing water to avoid floods when the massive Sierra snowpack melts. Forum talks with water managers from three Bay Area districts about how their systems are handling the whiplash. How much of this water are they able to store? How does moving from too dry to too wet change the way they manage their systems? And what are they asking of customers? As we look toward a future of more extreme weather, we talk about how the Bay Area’s waterworks will have to adjust.


Aaron Baker, chief operating officer, Water Utility Division, Valley Water

Ben Horenstein, general manager, Marin Municipal Water District

Mike Tognolini, director of water and natural resources, East Bay Municipal Utility District