Water & Drought

California’s water year starts with a large increase in reservoir storage. Here’s why

California is enjoying an increase in average water reserves due to increases in snowfall and precipitation, according to the Department of Water Resources.

Statewide, reservoir storage is at 128 percent of average, which is about 29.7 million acre-feet. Some of the biggest increases include Lake Oroville, which is currently at 102 percent of its average, compared to 62 percent this time last year; Shasta Lake is at 126 percent (88 percent in 2018) and San Luis Reservoir is at 132 percent (117 percent last year).

According to the DWR, the state’s snowpack was at 175 percent of the annual average on April 1. The increase was helped by more than 30 atmospheric rivers, many of which made landfall in Northern California.

“The significant rainfall and snowpack made for a great water year in 2019, so we start the new year in a good place,” DWR director Karla Nemeth said in a release. “However, we all know too well that California’s weather and precipitation is highly variable. What we could have today could be gone tomorrow. Conserve. Recycle. Recharge. People and the environment depend on it.”

The water year begins Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30. For more information, visit DWR’s California Data Exchange Center website.

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