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Reservoirs Rising But Still Well Below Normal

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The low lake levels at Folsom Lake reveal a settlement previously submerged.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Folsom -Lake -USA-drought -before -after -2-620x 347

Source: California Department of Water Resources


Several days of rain and snow have raised water levels in most major California reservoirs in the past month. 

But, Doug Carlson with the California Department of Water Resources says the state is nowhere near even a normal year for rain and snow.

"That would take considerable precipitation -very heavy rain and snow- from now til perhaps the end of April to achieve the normal readings that we would expect in the snow pack for this time of year," he says. "That's just not in the forecast."

The eight inches of water in the Sierra snow pack is less than a-third of normal for this time of year.



Carlson says a below-average snow pack makes for a less-than-promising forecast for water storage.

"To help us get through this extended dry period we would need almost-every-other-day kind of heavy precipitation to begin to fill the reservoirs," says Carlson. "But, we're so far below what is normal for this time of date, that it would appear to be that we're just not going to see it."

Most of the other reservoirs in the state saw current capacity increase by one-to-four percent in the past month. 

After starting the year as the worst drought on record, water levels have risen to at least match those last seen during the drought of 1976 and 77.




Source: CDEC.water.ca.gov




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