Oroville Dam Staying Low To Provide Room For Wet Weather, Possible Use Of Reconstructed Spillway

Oroville Dam is currently the only reservoir in the state that’s below average elevation — but that’s on purpose, said the state’s Department of Water Resources. “If the lake begins to rise very quickly in the coming weeks due to large storms and increased inflows, then DWR may consider using outflow mechanisms,” the department said in a press release. That could include using the main spillway for the first time since it was rebuilt. The reservoir is currently at 55 percent of total capacity, said DWR’s assistant director of public communications, Erin Mellon. That’s about 80 percent of average.