After a super dry winter, rainfall in Marin and April appears to have staved off the idea of summer water-use restrictions in Novato.
For the moment, the deems the water supply satisfactory and does not anticipate any restrictions in the coming months, said NMWD General Manager Chris DeGabriele.
The Russian River, from which Novato receives 80 percent of its water, will be dammed with a rubber device on June 1 to feed four off-stream infiltration ponds, according to the Sonoma County Water Agency. The dam will stay up through the fall and be deflated whenever flows reach more than 1,000 cubic feet per second.
About 20 percent of Novato's water supply comes from , just west of the city limits, and the reservoir is at 67 percent capacity now, DeGabriele said Wednesday. The 2012 rainfall total in Novato is at 17.18 inches, about 10 inches below the yearly average for this date.
"We plan to start the treatment plant on July 1 since the cost of Russian River water will increase on that date," DeGabriele said.
With the rate increase from the Sonoma County Water Agency, NMWD customers will see an 11 percent increase in rates as of June 1, a move approved by the NMWD board a year ago. It will be the second in a series of three annual increases.
Customers can see the impact of the rate increase by viewing the NMWD annual water cost calculator on the NMWD website.
DeGabriele said the water supply pool at Lake Sonoma is full and the one at Lake Mendocino is at 88 percent capacity.
The Russian River infiltration ponds help recharge groundwater that is then naturally filtered through sand and gravel and delivered to the Sonoma County Water Agency’s 600,000-plus customers in Sonoma and Marin counties. Permanent fish ladders provide safe passage around the rubber dam when it is inflated, the agency said.