Drought-stricken California Dumps Water From Folsom Lake

California Drought

Drought-stricken California Dumps Water From Folsom Lake

March 29, 2016

Drought-stricken California Dumps Water From Folsom Lake, In the 19th century, a rule was created for Western states to prevent flooding of reservoirs by regularly releasing its waters to maintain empty space and protect public safety.The idea is that if a major storm were to come in, extra space in the reservoir would be needed to catch the runoff and prevent floods. Some believe this rule is age old and should be adapted, especially in areas affected by drought. Why waste all this water?

With advances in weather forecasting, storms can now be seen ahead of time. This could save billions of gallon of water in years when Californians needs it most.

In Sacramento, CA, Folsom Lake is one of the state’s largest reservoirs that sends huge volumes of water downstream, much of which flows into San Fransisco Bay. According to KQED Science, last year Lake Folsom was a dry, dusty lakebed, yet it is required to remain 60% empty.

“When water is disappearing downriver, it’s hard for water consumers to take the conservation message seriously,” says Shauna Lorance of the San Juan Water District near Sacramento.

Some Good News

Releasing water downstream does produce benefits such as supporting wildlife and endangered fish. It also prevents salt water from San Francisco Bay from backing up into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is a drinking water supply for many in the Bay Area. Read more.

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