California Lakes Rebound With More Sierra Nevada Snowpack, Recent Rains

By on March 22, 2016

Shasta Dam, California. (Credit: Apaliwal via Creative Commons 3.0)


Water levels in California haven’t been good for some time. But there appears to be at least some relief coming, thanks to recent El Niño rains and building snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For some water bodies in the state’s north, there have been some robust rebounds in the past few weeks.

Lake Shasta, which once appeared bare in photos circulated widely in social media and elsewhere, now looks like a lake again. Officials with the California Department of Water Resources say that the state’s largest reservoir has hit above average for the first time this year. The lake was near 79 percent capacity in the middle of March.

For Lake Oroville, another important reservoir, it has recently passed its historical average. In March alone, the lake is up 82 feet, putting it near levels that may require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release some of its water.

The story is much the same for Folsom Lake, which is at 108 percent of its historical average level in March. Its dam began releasing excess water on March 7.

Top image: Shasta Dam, California. (Credit: Apaliwal via Creative Commons 3.0)

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