A California Reservoir Infamously Depleted By Drought Rises 5 Metres In 10 Days

A series of big storms sending much-needed rain and snow to Northern California has dramatically replenished a drought-stricken reservoir that was on the brink of disaster. Thanks, El Niño! Like Folsom Lake, which I profiled in depth (um, shallowness) last winter, Lake Oroville is one of those reservoirs you probably know quite well from photos. Dramatic images of sediment-ringed banks and boat docks resting on the dusty lakebed made national headlines in the US, like a drone video that was featured on NBC Nightly News in May of 2015.

A California Reservoir Infamously Depleted By Drought Rises 6m in 10 Days

Lake Oroville on 20 July 2011 (photo by Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources via Getty Images) and on 19 August 2014 (photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On 9 December 2015, Lake Oroville had recorded its lowest water level for the year and was very close to reaching its lowest water level ever. But then El Niño arrived! And by yesterday evening, the water level in Lake Oroville had risen 5m in 10 days, the Department of Water Resources told KRCR.

A California Reservoir Infamously Depleted By Drought Rises 6m in 10 Days

Here is the part where I issue the standard disclaimer: No, the drought is not over. Refilled reservoirs are good news, but California also needs more snowpack. Luckily, there's very good news on that front as well.

A California Reservoir Infamously Depleted By Drought Rises 5m in 10 Days

Yes, that's four critical locations across California reporting snowpack that's at or above normal levels for this date.

Come on, El Niño. Bring it.


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    Being Americans, they'll see the water in the dam and just start wasting again, rather than conserving it for the next big drought.

      Do you even know how bad the water restrictions are ? Being Australian you immediately think you know what is going on in the US and can make a stupid comment.
      You can't have more than a single 5 min shower without the water board knocking on our door to fine you for using too much water.
      Restrictions are so bad that families are being fined massive amounts of money even after cutting back to the barest minimal amount of water they can use. So yeah the are going to reduce those restrictions and they are going to use more water because they have to, even after reducing the restrictions they will still be on far tighter water usage than us.

        What about taking into consideration how they got the point where there was no bloody water left? I don't doubt that the water restrictions are strict, but every time I saw a story on this, either on the news or even this particular site, the story was about waste, neglect and people not caring how much they use. The rich were pointed out on numerous occasions, for their greedy, I don't give a shit attitude. So you'll have to excuse me if my attitude has been skewed by what I've seen and heard.

      And Australians didn't do the same in 2007-2008 after our drought eased up and the restrictions dropped?

        If the article was about Australia, I would have commented in kind.

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