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(8,979 posts)
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:20 PM Jan 2016

California Reservoir Status

This map is a graphic of current, historic, and capacity status of major California Reservoirs as of today.

I post because I like the presentation and the issue is important.

Note that the y-axis varies in scale from reservoir to reservoir.

The drought has also negatively impacted ground water storage.
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(29,410 posts)
4. yup
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:33 PM
Jan 2016

SF water comes from there.

Plus, little known fact... the electricity to drive this

which was one of the prime reasons the reservoir was built.


(8,979 posts)
9. Yes, there are a multitude of smaller reservoirs not listed.
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:40 PM
Jan 2016

Lewiston, Whiskeytown, Ruth, Iron Gate, Dos Rios, Butt Lake, .....


(29,410 posts)
2. not that it's been measured yet
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:30 PM
Jan 2016

but snow pack is probably more important than reservoirs

We have way more rain fall this winter than any recent winter... but snow conditions... not only up top, but also how low it goes (needless to say there is way more snow storage capacity at lower elevations).

That water is what will recharge the ground water and fill the reservoirs in the spring.

I fear we need maybe two more years of "El Nino" events to get out of the drought.

If it doesn't get cold enough to save the snow pack until April, May, and June... none of this matters... we can't build enough reservoirs to save the central valley farms plus the urban populations (and their yards).


(16,926 posts)
8. Snow Water Equivalents as of 25-Jan-2016
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:36 PM
Jan 2016

What is Snow Water Equivalent?

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is a common snowpack measurement. It is the amount of water contained within the snowpack. It can be thought of as the depth of water that would theoretically result if you melted the entire snowpack instantaneously.

Wounded Bear

(59,281 posts)
10. Looks like it is at or above normal this year...
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:42 PM
Jan 2016

too bad it'll take more than one year to 'correct' the drought problem.

Best wishes to the state going forward.


(29,410 posts)
12. good, better than I thought from my drive to Tahoe a few weeks ago.
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:43 PM
Jan 2016

I hope the snowfall continues


(8,979 posts)
13. Snowpack level is relatively high where I am in the Klamath Mountains
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:54 PM
Jan 2016

despite a higher than long term average precipitation this year.

Looking from my home (when sky is clear) the snow accumulation zone is 4000 feet or so where historically the snow zone is down to about 3000 feet.

There has been rain nearly every day for the last two months and snow 4X where I live at about 500 feet but the low snows have all been followed by warm rains. The River runs high but not as high if the snow had accumulated lower and came down in a larger pulse.

The ground water problem is not an easy two year fix where there has been industrial draws for decades.

Most water from the California Water Project goes to agriculture and to protect the Sacramento River delta with urban use a distant third in use.


(46,192 posts)
6. Actually, the reservoir levels have been ongoing news in the media for months
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:19 PM
Jan 2016

the decreasing reservoir levels all last year and the recent increases as well as improved snowpack have been in the news a lot, with stories several times per week in the SF Chronicle, LA Times and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on television news.

I share your criticism of the media, however, when it comes to these stories on water, your criticism is inaccurate.


(8,979 posts)
14. You are welcome. Posted as thought a neat chart.
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:58 PM
Jan 2016

I haven't traveled lately to see the reservoirs but would have thought there had been more accumulation given the rainfall so far.

The large reservoirs are not allowed to fill until later because of Spring melt in any case (except for low or absent snowpack).


(16,191 posts)
16. I was just riding some singletrack at New Melones last weekend.
Mon Jan 25, 2016, 05:48 PM
Jan 2016

As depressing as that 15% number is, it's still a big improvement over where the lake was a few months ago (when it was toying with the 9% mark). Overall, the lake is about 20 feet deeper than it was the last time I was there in Spetember.

A couple of the rangers were saying that the lake might hit 25% when the spring melt hits, and they were pretty damned happy about that number.

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