As rainwater soaks the thirsty earth and residents throughout the Tri-Valley search for their lost umbrellas, don’t be tempted to sing “rain, rain, go away." Record rainfall makes it easy to believe the drought, at last, is over, but our reservoirs paint a different picture.

Zone 7’s source of water, Lake Oroville, rose approximately 25 feet, yet it has only reached 27% of its capacity.

Conservation is still necessary. The community must remain vigilant to achieve its 15% reduction goal. Zone 7 notes that outdoor irrigation takes up 60% of household water use; it asks residents to turn off systems when it’s raining.

“With such a heavy soaking, it should be several days before irrigation systems need to be turned back on,” the agency stated in a press release this week. Those with lawns should consider replacing them with California native and drought-resistant plants. Rebate programs are available through cities in the Tri-Valley, along with Zone 7.

The agency also offers rebates for installing water-wise appliances, including $200 toward the purchase of a high-efficiency washing machine. Although many have already reduced their water consumption, there are now more resources available to help cut back even further.

For more info on rebate programs and water-wise resources visit