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Recent Wet Weather Has Led to Rising Folsom Lake Level, but Will It Last?

As California’s wildfire season nears amid another year of drought, Folsom Lake looks much different than it did a year ago when a low water level left an exposed lakebed. Now, splashing, swimming and boats have returned—but will it last?

“We couldn’t do anything at all. We couldn’t go swimming or anything like that. The water was really, really low,” lake visitor Robert Morpanini said of last year’s levels.

Folsom Lake Levels Improve, Drought Conditions Still an Issue

The latest Spring snowstorms helped increase California’s water supply and lake levels, but the Golden State continues to face drought conditions.

April’s wet weather in northern California have increased water levels at lakes like Folsom Lake.

“The particular storm of this week increased the rain and snow over northern California by about 5-10 percent,” said Meteorologist and forecaster Jim Mathews with the National Weather Service.

California Reservoirs Continue to Rise After Major Winter Storms

California has seen big changes in reservoir levels so far this rainy season and the trend is up for the foreseeable future.

At the beginning of the water year for 2020-2021, some major reservoirs, such as Lake Oroville, were at record lows. California’s well-known reliance on water capture and transport was under severe strain until a record October storm provided quick relief.

 

Folsom Dam to Start Releasing Water After Recent Rain, Snowfall

After more than a year of well-below average water levels at Folsom Lake, the Bureau of Reclamation will start making releases from that reservoir early Tuesday morning.

The releases are necessary because the water level is now near the maximum allowed at this time of year for flood protection. Inflows in the last few weeks have driven the lake up to a near 425 feet, which is as high as the Bureau of Reclamation would like to have it at this time of year.

City of Folsom Requiring People to Cut Water Use by 20% as Drought Worsens

The City of Folsom announced Monday it will require residents to reduce water use by 20%. The water-use restriction will go into effect Aug. 30.

This comes as the water supply across the state continues to dwindle amid a crippling drought. Folsom itself draws water from the American River at Folsom Lake, which has lower levels than it did during the 2014-15 drought. This is the second driest year on record since 1977.

Roseville Drought Declaration Establishes Watering Days, Enforcement Measures

Beginning this past Monday, Roseville residents are required to reduce water use by 20 percent.

The mandatory conservation requirement builds upon the 10-percent voluntary water use reduction announced in May and recognizes that the water supply outlook is stressed at Folsom Lake and throughout California.

Roseville to Take 1.2 Billion Gallons From Wells to Supply Residents With Water

The city of Roseville plans to take 1.2 billion gallons from its wells to supply about 53,000 households with running water this summer.

State reservoirs have receded to their lowest point in years. To prepare for dry seasons, Roseville has invested in new technology to boost its groundwater supply by ingesting water from previous snowmelt and rainy seasons into underground wells so when water is most needed, the city isn’t entirely reliant on Folsom Lake.

Federal Government Slashes Water Deliveries to Farms, Cities as California Drought Worsens

California’s water supply got cut again Wednesday, with the federal government reducing allocations to cities and farms as the drought intensified.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that municipal water agencies that rely on the Central Valley Project will have this year’s allocations slashed from 55% down to 25% — a level not seen since the drought of 2015.

That could put additional pressure on the municipalities around greater Sacramento that depend on supplies from Folsom Lake, whose water levels have sunk dramatically this spring. The reservoir is at 46% of its usual capacity for late May.

Sierra Snow Survey Canceled Due to Impacts of Dry Weather, Water Supply Also at Risk

There is dry dirt where water should be at Folsom Lake. A lack of wet weather is taking a toll on the state’s water supply.

Chris Orrock is a spokesperson for the California Department of Water Resources. He said while drought-like conditions are very common for the state, this year is worse than normal, especially considering back-to-back dry winters with little snow and rain.

“In fact, this year is a critically dry year,” Orrock said.

It is so dry, in fact, that DWR canceled Thursday’s snow survey at Phillips Station because there was not enough snow on the ground. Orrock said much of the lower elevation snow is already gone and some of the higher elevation snow is beginning to melt as well.

Water Levels Low at Folsom Lake as California Faces Threat of Drought

Sunday marked the hottest day of the year, so far. Many people made their way to Folsom Lake to enjoy the weather to find lake levels low as the state faces the threat of a drought. After two dry years in a row with little rain and snow, drought is a concern. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he has executive orders drafted, if needed.