[BAY FEATURE]Bay Area Drought Watch

BAY FEATURE

Coverage of California's looming water problem

EBMUD Taps Sacramento River for Emergency Water Amid Ongoing Drought

By Jodi Hernandez
|  Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014  |  Updated 5:48 PM PDT
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California's severe drought has forced the East Bay Municipal Utility District to pump water into the Bay Area from the Sacramento River. Jodi Hernandez reports.

California's severe drought has forced the East Bay Municipal Utility District to pump water into the Bay Area from the Sacramento River. Jodi Hernandez reports.

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California's severe drought has forced the East Bay Municipal Utility District to pump water into the Bay Area from the Sacramento River.

EBMUD started tapping the river for the first time on Wednesday to increase the region's water supply during the drought.

"It is definitely needed and it's something we feel very fortunate to be able to tap into," EBMUD General Manager Alex Coate said.

EBMUD said the San Pablo Reservoir is one of the destinations for water pumped from the Sacramento River.The emergency water supply will serve Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The utility has been preparing for more than four decades for a drought like the current one hitting the state. EBMUD has spent nearly $500 million building pipelines and pumping plants to move Sacramento River water to the East Bay, officials said.

 EBMUD officials said the utility will continue to pump water from the Sacramento River through June.

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