Gustavo Bernal Torres
The Largest Water Reservoirs in California Are Rapidly Receding
The ongoing drought in the U.S. West is challenging access to water in several states.
Water storage in the state is supposed to be at its highest this time of year, a sobering forecast of how low water levels may be this coming summer. Lake Oroville is at about 55% of its usual capacity, the LA Times reported. Shasta Lake reservoir is a bit worse—it’s currently at 40% of regular capacity, which is the lowest the lake has been this time of the year since record-keeping began in 1977. The levels are low enough in this reservoir that hydropower generated may be affected for residents in the area.
California’s snowpack, which usually melts and feeds into waterways across the state in the spring, was alarmingly low this year. In fact, this past winter was recorded as one of the driest winters in 128 years. In late March, California Department of Water Resources officials set out to conduct the annual snowpack measurement near Lake Tahoe and found only 2.5 inches of snow where there should have been about 5 feet.