Critically Low Water Levels at Lake Shasta, California’s Largest Reservoir

KTVU is continuing its week-long series of stories about the drought with a look at the dire situation at California’s largest reservoir.

Lake Shasta provides water not only to agriculture in the Central Valley, but also to several regional Bay Area water systems. Lake Shasta is located 10 miles from Redding, in Shasta County, and about 200 miles north of the Bay Area.

What the Startling Low Water Levels in Lake Mead Mean for LA

NASA recently released startling satellite images of Lake Mead, which the agency notes is now at its lowest since April 1937, when the reservoir was still being filled for the first time.

A measurement taken on July 18 put Lake Mead at just 27% of capacity. That effect you see in the image above — with the lighter color on the cliffs where the water level once was — is known as the “bathtub ring.”

Deliveries to Be Cut as Lake Powell Approaches Crisis Level

Lake Mead’s “bathtub ring” is set to become even more pronounced this year.

The lingering drought is the overriding reason that the lake’s water level will fall again in 2022, but it’s also because less water will be released upstream on the Colorado River from Lake Powell.

This month, the seven Colorado River Basin States — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — agreed with federal officials’ recommendations to institute a 480,000 acre-foot reduction from Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell to reduce the risk of the lake declining below 3,490 feet.