The cost to bring Anderson Dam, which holds back the largest reservoir in California’s Santa Clara County, up to modern earthquake standards has increased to $2.3 billion, water officials said Monday. That’s double what was estimated a year ago, triple the price tag from two years ago, and nearly certain to drive water rates higher next year across Silicon Valley.
The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors conducted a formal dedication of its newest water conservation and operational reservoir located just east of here on Wednesday, Oct. 11, named after longtime Division 3 Director Lloyd Allen.
The new reservoir is expected to help IID conserve 400 acre-feet of water a year and features a storage capacity of 40 acre-feet. In addition, the operational reservoir aids the district’s popular On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program by providing improved water delivery service and flexibility to growers and IID water delivery staff in the valley’s Northend.
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.
Congress approved a government funding bill last week that threw $80 million at the Sites Reservoir in California in order to keep the project on track.
The project is meant to hold 1.5 million acre-feet of water for the state to be used during droughts for agriculture, community usage and environmental need, said a press release issued Tuesday by the organization behind the Sites Reservoir.
Dangerously low water levels at Shasta Lake were captured on drone video by ABC10 reporter John Bartell and photojournalist Tyler Horst on Tuesday.
Shasta Lake is California’s largest reservoir, capable of holding 4,552,000 acre feet of water. Right now, it has 1,186,057 acre feet of water stored. Breaking that down into percentages, the reservoir is at 26% capacity and 42% of average for this date.
As the West descends deeper into drought, climate and water experts are growing increasingly alarmed by California’s severely shriveling reservoirs.
On Monday, Shasta Lake — the largest reservoir in the state — held a scant 1.57 million acre-feet of water, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, or about 35% of its capacity.
A series of satellite images captured by NASA show just how dramatically the water level has fallen.
Water lines on the banks of Lake Oroville in Butte County have depleted so rapidly that the reservoir’s hydroelectric power plant may have to shut down for the first time ever, straining an already encumbered power grid during the hottest part of the summer, California officials announced Thursday.
Since 1967, the Edward Hyatt Power Plant has been a crucial source of electricity for the area and usually has the capacity to power up to 800,000 homes, pumping water from the lake through its underground facilities, according to CNN. However, water levels are currently approaching 700 feet, exacerbated by a severe drought and triple-digit temperatures.
Use it or lose it” is what state and federal water managers in California are wrestling with as one of the biggest precipitation years has the mountains packed with snow and reservoirs loaded to the brim. For the state, water is liquid gold that feeds many people, animals, trees, and industries. But, if not well managed, it can also present great danger.