All's well that fills the well - basin recharging rapidly

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Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar
Lake Casitas Recreation Area employees work to clear a culvert on the Santa Ana Creek in the campground area Feb. 18.
Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
From 5 to 6.5 inches of rain have landed in the Ojai Valley over the past week, with anywhere from 7 to 10 inches arriving in the higher elevations. All good news for the area’s water supply.
“The lake’s come up about 7 feet in the last three days,” Ron Merckling said Feb. 21. “We’ve gained about 10,000 acre-feet of water.”
Merckling, who is water conservation manager for the Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD), said Lake Casitas was 42 percent full, reflecting a current water volume of approximately 106,000 acre-feet.
Groundwater in the Ojai Basin, meanwhile, continues to rise with enough force to displace columns of air in the wells. “As soon as you pop the caps off, they're blowing at you like hair dryers,” said Jordan Kear, hydrogeologist for the Ojai Basin Groundwater Management Agency (OBGMA).

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