After falling to historic low depths, Folsom Lake came back with a vengeance this week, adding nearly 18 billion gallons on Tuesday and Wednesday, state figures show.
Earlier this month, Folsom Lake levels fell to roughly 135,000 acre-feet, the lowest point since officials began keeping records – lower than even the 1977 drought. Since then, the region has seen a few storms, and the lake level has crept upward.
After the latest batch of storms, flows into the lake increased dramatically. On Tuesday, the lake rose 35,000 acre-feet. On Wednesday, it rose another 20,000 acre-feet.
In practical terms, the increases this week almost certainly mean that the lake will not fall below the level at which cities have trouble drawing drinking water from it. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation built a series of barges and pumps in preparation for that possibility; they likely won’t be used.
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Even with the sharp increase, Folsom Lake depths are at 44 percent of average for this time of year, state data show.
“It feels good,” said Tom Gray, general manager of the Fair Oaks Water District.
But, he added, the drought is not over. “You got the year-end bonus check: Don’t blow it.”