Folsom Lake Level Above Average, but…


Driving Folsom Lake Crossing, or walking along the shore, you might look at Folsom Lake and think it looks pretty low. The truth is, it’s about half-full, or half-empty, depending on your viewpoint.

Folsom Lake holds 977,000-acre feet of water, and today it stands at 527,498-acre feet. That is actually 8% above average for this time of year.

So, nothing to worry about, right? Not so fast. The real concern isn’t the amount of water in the lake, but the amount in the foothills.

The water source for Folsom Lake is snowmelt runoff from the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains, and although the snowpack was over 150% of normal in December, since then the state is seeing possibly the driest first to months of the year on record.  The snowpack is now at 67% of normal.

As a result, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, which manages dams and canals throughout the state has announced a zero-water allocation for irrigation districts that supply water to farmers across the Central Valley, and cities that receive water from projects in the Central Valley were allocated 25% of their normal use.

Although Folsom’s allocations are to remain in place, the City and State can enact restrictions on Folsom’s residential use.

There are indications of a better, wetter March, starting with some models, such as WeatherTab predicting wet weather this week and next.

To learn more about how our water is allocated and managed, go to the California Department of Water Resources website at