Lagging reservoirs

The biggest Halloween treat for drought-stricken residents was news that the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir was full. More puzzling is why, despite rain, the smaller Sugar Hollow and Ragged Mountain reservoirs lost water for much of October, and remained nearly 10 feet low. Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority director Larry Tropea says it's a matter of watershed. Around 258 square miles drain into South Fork; Sugar Hollow's watershed is a mere 35 square miles, and Ragged Mountain's is a downright paltry 3 square miles. Despite the recent rain, "I think it's going to take months" to fill those reservoirs, says Tropea.

 

Sugar Hollow Ragged Mtn. South Fork

October 2 -12.9' -10.6' -5.1'

 

October 15 -16.4 -11.6 ' -4.4'

 

October 30 -13.7' -11' 0

 

November 6 -10.5' -9.7' 0

 

November 12 -7.2' -8.6 0