With drought conditions rivaling those experienced in 2015, there are expectations for further agricultural land fallowing this year. As of April 13, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) shows the statewide snowpack at just 23 percent of average. DWR Director Karla Nemeth noted that California’s current water situation has created some difficult circumstances for both rural and urban areas. Water allocations have been drastically curtailed with more action expected in the coming months to affect urban water users as well.
A dry January with little rainfall across much of Northern California actually didn’t hurt the state’s water storage levels, according to data from the California Department of Water Resources.
In fact, thanks to a little snowmelt, water levels were up for all reservoirs from December to January. Lake Mendocino, which has a capacity of 122,400 acre feet, saw the biggest boost from 17% of storage capacity in December to 35% in January. One acre foot is the equivalent of one acre of land covered in one foot of water. Trinity Lake, with a capacity of 2,447,650 acre feet, had the smallest increase from 29% in December to 30% in January.