Drought ups sediment levels in California reservoirs

By on June 11, 2014

Reservoirs across California are seeing more sediment buildup following the state’s historic drought, according to a release from the University of California – Berkeley. Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say there are 1.7 million acre feet of sediment behind the state’s dams.

Not all of the sediment accrued during the last few years of dry conditions, but the figure is still staggering. Lawmakers say dredging operations are needed across the state to make room for water collection.

The sediment problem is worse for reservoirs that sit in watersheds with unstable slopes, making them more prone to erosion. Those nearer mountain ranges are faring better because of the stable, rocky slopes they border.

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