Friday September 2, 2022

Sacramento Bee

With California about to experience perhaps the hottest and driest start to September in its modern history, 16 of the state’s 17 major reservoirs entered the month below their historic average levels — several of them well below average, in another daunting reminder of California’s extraordinary ongoing drought and water concerns.

The state’s two largest reservoirs, Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville, were measured at a respective 58% and 64% of their averages for the end of August, according to data from the California Department of Water Resources.

Folsom Lake, which had been above its average as recently as July 14, finished August at 82%. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation earlier this summer had to accelerate releases at the lake — a key export source of water for Southern California — to make up for dwindling levels at Shasta Lake.

Only New Bullards Bar, a reservoir in Yuba County within Tahoe National Forest, came in above average through the end of August. The reservoir was 70% of its total capacity, which is 104% of normal for this time of year, according to state water data.

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