Tag Archive for: California Reservoirs

Giant New Calif. Reservoir Plan Would Bring Water to 24 Million People

California’s reservoirs are not only vital to the state’s complex water systems, providing millions of people and the state’s agricultural economy with needed access to water; they’re also important gauges for how healthy the state is overall. This year’s at-capacity reservoirs have been a boon for a region besieged by drought over much of the past decade, but more work is needed to help ensure a plentiful and water-wise future for the most populous state in America.

California Increases Water Allocation After Wet Winter, but Fish Protections Limit Pumping

With runoff from this year’s snow and rain boosting the levels of California’s reservoirs, state water managers on Tuesday announced plans to increase deliveries of supplies from the State Water Project to 40% of full allotments, up from 30% last month.

Dramatic Before-and-After Images Show How Much Water California Reservoirs Have Accumulated

With the winter storm season ramping up, rainfall across the state has begun to refill reservoirs. By Tuesday, water reservoirs were at about 64% capacity, well above the 30-year average of 55% for the month of December. After last year’s historically wet winter, many of California’s largest water stores were at or near capacity during the summer months of 2023.

How California Reservoir Water Levels Will Change, According to Predictions

Many of California’s reservoirs are far above their average capacity, but water levels are expected to change as the winter season progresses.

The U.S. Southwest has suffered from years of drought, and until recently, the most severe impacts have been centered around Lake Mead and Lake Powell and much of California. Last year, none of California was free from drought, and more than 16 percent of the state suffered from exceptional drought, which is the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) most extreme classification.

California’s Reservoirs Above Historic Averages as Fall Approaches

As the final days of summer near, California’s reservoirs are in a position they have not been in for some time, they still have a significant amount of water in them.

As of Thursday, all but Trinity Reservoir near Redding and Casitas near Ventura, are at or above their historic average levels, according to the California Department of Water data exchange.

Before-and-After Aerial Images Show California Reservoirs’ Dramatic Rebound After Years of Drought

California’s two biggest reservoirs are all but full after reaching perilously low levels late last year. Lake Shasta, at 96% full, and Lake Oroville, at 100%, had fallen to around 25% to 30% of their capacity before the state’s historically wet winter rejuvenated them.

Dramatic Photos Show How Storms Filled California Reservoirs

Water levels fell so low in key reservoirs during the depth of California’s drought that boat docks sat on dry, cracked land and cars drove into the center of what should have been Folsom Lake.

Those scenes are no more after a series of powerful storms dumped record amounts of rain and snow across California, replenishing reservoirs and bringing an end — mostly — to the state’s three-year drought.

Weather Whiplash Leads to Dramatic Turnaround of Lake Sonoma

If you wanted to measure California’s change of water fortunes, the boat ramp at Lake Sonoma would be one place to do it.

The lake is the scene of an incredible four-month turnaround, for the very water system where the drought officially started.

“As you recall, three years ago, the governor literally was up at Lake Mendocino,” recalled Grant Davis with Sonoma Water. “Declaring the start of the drought basically, basically April 2021.”

Water Windfall: Key California Reservoir Fills for Just Third Time in 12 years

Five months ago, San Luis Reservoir — the massive lake along Highway 152 between Gilroy and Los Banos — was just 24% full, an arid landscape of cracked mud and lonely boat ramps painfully far away from the dwindling water’s edge.

How Tracking Atmospheric Rivers Could Transform California’s Reservoir Levels During Drought

Atmospheric rivers can wreak havoc on the West Coast. These “rivers in the sky” stream enormous amounts of moisture from the tropics to western North America — double the flow of the Amazon River, on average. This moisture can produce downpours that cause widespread flood damage. From 1978 to 2017, this damage amounted to $1.1 billion per year according to a 2022 study. But atmospheric rivers are also crucial for life in California.