California’s Reservoirs Face Dangerously Low Levels

California’s Reservoirs Face Dangerously Low Levels


The lack of significant rain this past winter is putting California’s reservoirs at dangerously low levels. Experts say this drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, which means the water is evaporating faster.

“The levels in Folsom reservoir are also quite low but I’m hearing that the local water districts that depend on Folsom have enough groundwater capacity and enough access to remaining surface water to get through this year,” said Jay Lund with the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis. “But some of them are starting to call for water conservation.”

On May 25, the Folsom City Council last week asked residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 10% and told city staff to boost outreach about water conservation. Lund says the state’s more than 1,500 reservoirs are 50% lower than they should be this time of year.

Dry banks rise above water in Lake Oroville on Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Oroville, Calif. At left are trees scorched in the 2020 North Complex Fire.Noah Berger / AP Photo
Weeds sprout from a boat launch ramp, which rests far above the water line at Lake Oroville on Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Oroville, Calif.Noah Berger / AP Photo
A launch ramp, extended to accommodate low water levels, stretches into Lake Oroville on Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Oroville, Calif. At the time of this photo, the reservoir was at 39 percent of capacity and 46 percent of its historical average.Noah Berger / AP Photo
A buoy sits on dry land that had been under water, at a drought-stricken Lake Mendocino, currently at 29% of it normal capacity, in Ukiah, Calif., on Sunday, May 23, 2021.Josh Edelson / AP Photo
In an aerial view, boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area of drought-stricken Folsom Lake, currently at 37% of the normal capacity, in Folsom, Calif., Saturday, May 22, 2021.Josh Edelson / AP Photo
People walk near boat docks as they sit on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area of drought-stricken Folsom Lake, currently at 37% of its normal capacity, in Folsom, Calif., Saturday, May 22, 2021.Josh Edelson / AP Photo
A car crosses Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville’s dry banks Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Oroville, Calif. At the time of this photo, the reservoir was at 39 percent of capacity and 46 percent of its historical average.Noah Berger / AP Photo
A home destroyed in the 2020 North Complex Fire sits above Lake Oroville on Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Oroville, Calif. At the time of this photo, the reservoir was at 39 percent of capacity and 46 percent of its historical average.Noah Berger / AP Photo
Water drips from a faucet near boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area of drought-stricken Folsom Lake, currently at 37% of its normal capacity, in Folsom, Calif., Saturday, May 22, 2021.Josh Edelson / AP Photo

 


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