ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The Orange County Water District said it's grateful for all the rain this year.
Adam Hutchinson, recharge planning manager for OCWD said in the past, there's been years when they've had almost no storm water to collect.
He said it is crucial to retain as much of it as possible when we have it.
While some communities in California find ways to better retain water from recent storms to help in their fight against the ongoing drought, Hutchinson said OCWD has been able to capture the bulk of it.
"This storm water capture in Orange County is responsible for almost 20% of our groundwater supply in an average year," he said.
He adds the OCWD's imperial rubber damn near the 91 Freeway in Anaheim diverts half a million gallons of water a minute from the Santa Ana River into the district's recharge basin.
"We can retain enough water to provide 40,000 families of four for a year. That's the full pool is what we call it," Hutchinson said. "We've drained most of that water down so now when get a storm this weekend, we'll be able to refill it, have another batch of water for 40,000 families of four again."
Hutchinson said the pool can hold 16 billion gallons of water. Even then, he said some water is sent out to the ocean.
"There's only so much water we can retain temporarily and anything above that, the Corps has to release it for full control purposes," Hutchinson said.
He said the imperial rubber dam is built to maximize the water supply.
"But if flow gets too high, the dam has to deflate and lay flat and that allows the storm water to safely run out to the ocean without causing any flood damage," he said.
Also, Hutchinson said all of the rain is helping them learn and adapt with how to deal with drier years in the future.