Lake Mead and Lake Powell Water Levels Have Risen, But Runoff Slowing Down

Lake Mead has risen more than 3 feet over the past month, and nearly 13 feet since Jan. 1.

The lake, which supplies 90% of the water used in the Las Vegas valley, is bucking the trend of the past five years. Lake Mead typically drops beginning around April, following a seasonal pattern.

As snow melts upstream in the Upper Colorado River Basin, water is held back in dams all along the way to prepare for higher consumption during the hot summer months. Water eventually reaches Lake Powell before flowing through the Grand Canyon and into Lake Mead.

‘It’s Been Dropping Fast All Year’: Concerns Rise Over Water Levels at Lake Oroville

The drought is taking its toll on dams and rivers throughout California and there is no clearer example than at Lake Oroville where water levels have been dropping all year.

“It’s been dropping fast all year,” said fisherman Jeremiah Corlin. “It’s been slowing down, but it’s still dropping fast.”

The Oroville Dam is the state water system’s tallest, but boaters and fishermen have witnessed the water level fall nearly 250 feet below average.

Folsom Lake Water Level Below Average

California water managers are pinning their hopes on the month of March to turn around a below-average water year. Many California reservoirs are still well below average as we start, what typically is, the last big wet month of the season. Folsom Lake has 345,609 acre feet of water between its shores — just 64% of where it should be for this time of year and just over a third of the lake’s capacity.

Lower Water Levels Impacting Grebes’ Mating Habits at Lake Hodges

San Diego has over 500 different species of bird that migrate though or live here. One of the more unusual is Grebes. “[They are] white birds with a black neck and head and very red eyes,” said Brian Caldwell. Caldwell is a naturalist that guides tours at Lake Hodges and said water level changes nesting.

Heavy Rains May Prompt San Diego to Lower Water Level in Lake Hodges

San Diego officials announced Friday that they may release water from the Lake Hodges Reservoir near Rancho Bernardo this winter if rainfall pushes the water level above where it is permitted under state regulations.

The California Division of Safety of Dams has determined that the water level in the reservoir should no longer go above 295 feet, which is 20 feet below the spillway elevation — a formal term for the top of the dam.

Ancient Aquifers are Dropping as Tucson’s Suburbs Pump Groundwater

Literature promoting the SaddleBrooke Ranch development west of Oracle touts feature after feature — high Sonoran Desert terrain with beautiful mountain views, “multimillion-dollar country club amenities,” an 18-hole championship golf course and more.

The development, now roughly 1,000 homes strong with 5,600 total planned, also has delivered something not promoted — a falling water table.