The network of creeks channel water from storm drains into the areas rivers. Despite the dry winter, the ground in the area won't soak up much water.
"Our ground is pretty hard, it's primarily hard pan so it does saturate quicker than other parts of the state," said George Cooper, a civil engineer with the Sacramento County Water Resources Agency.
That means creeks that have been bone dry can fill up quickly, but creeks are far from getting to flood stage. Dozens of gauges monitor water levels and rainfall throughout the creek system.
The soil in isolated areas of the San Joaquin Delta doesn’t have that problem. The rich soil will soak up plenty of water if it ever comes. Bob Ferguson grows asparagus, alfalfa and wheat about 10 miles east of Stockton. Storm fronts have been going around the area, leaving his fields thirsty.
"These beds are not going to have the moisture they need to have to carry us into a later season," said Ferguson.
He's already had to irrigate alfalfa fields to keep from losing them after getting little rain since early January. Lots of rain now would make fields muddy and delay his asparagus harvest, but he would take that over more dry weather. His wish is for ten straight days of rain, which is unlikely.
The one consolation, even if he doesn't get the rain he needs, the storms may bring more snow to the Sierra.
"We hopefully get good snow in the mountains. That comes back in spades later in the summer," said Ferguson.