Take a look at the photos above. On the left we see Folsom Lake as it should be. On the right, that’s what it’s looked like in recent months. It is getting better, though.
From the City of Folsom:
The good news is that inflow into Folsom Reservoir is now exceeding outflow. However, even with February rains, the reservoir is still significantly below capacity, and Sierra snowpack is far below normal as the statewide drought continues.
Marcus Yasutake, Folsom’s Environmental and Water Resources Director, provided a water supply update at the March 11th City Council meeting.
Yasutake noted that:
Folsom Reservoir is currently at 380,950 acre feet (approximately 38 percent capacity), compared to 199,639 acre feet in December 2013 when Folsom implemented the Stage 3 Water Warning (note that as of today, the lake stands at 398,797 acre feet, approximately 41% of capacity).
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has decreased water releases from Folsom Reservoir, and City officials , along with other regional water purveyors, are pushing to ensure that restricted downstream releases continue. (Folsom only uses an average of 24,000 acre feet of the approximately 2.7 million acre feet released from the reservoir during normal years.)
Snow surveys show a slight uptick from February storms, but as of March 9 statewide snowpack was just 31 percent of normal.
The Bureau of Reclamation is expected to announce allocations of Central Valley Project Water in late April or early May.
Folsom residents and businesses, as well as the City, are actively conserving water, using 24 percent less water in February than in January. It is essential that everyone continue to conserve and follow current Stage 3 Water Warning restrictions as the drought continues.
Folsom officials are examining additional water supply alternatives, including groundwater wells for non-potable purposes.
Last week’s Drought Brief issued by the State indicates that despite above average rain and snow in February, much of California has received only about 50 per cent of normal precipitation during this rainy season. Heavy rain and snow would have to fall throughout the state very frequently from now until May to reach average annual rain and snowfall levels. Even with such precipitation, California would remain in drought
conditions due to the low water supplies in reservoirs following two previous dry years.
Let’s keep up the good work and conserve water.