The drought-related news has been mostly good now that rain has finally come. And while we caution anyone from assuming the drought will actually end, and knowing that this El Nino will likely not solve all of our water problems in a single season, it's about time we had some good news when it comes to Northern California reservoirs and such. Lake Oroville, which was used as part of this drone footage of depleted reservoirs last summer and this dramatic photo collection from 2014, has gained 17 feet of water in just the last 10 days, bringing its level to about 690 feet. That is still 210 feet below its capacity, but it's a far cry from a 30-year low on December 9th (648 feet), since which time the reservoir has gained 264,000 acre-feet of water, according to Kevin Wright with the Department of Water Resources, speaking to KRCR-TV.
As the Sacramento Bee cautions, this still only brings Lake Oroville to 52 percent of its normal level for this time of year though rain in the coming weeks could add thirty more feet.
Lake Shasta meanwhile is at 58 percent of normal, and Folsom Lake is at 63 percent, with 310,000 total acre-feet of water as of Monday, which is more than double where it was in late 2015. So, we still have a long way to go.
Per the Bee:
State officials say at least one of three things would need to happen for the drought to be at an end: Statewide reservoir storage would need to be at 90 percent of average levels; runoff forecasts for the state’s water year, which runs from October to September, would need to be 110 percent of average; or reservoirs on the four major rivers in the Sacramento River basin would have to reach flood control stage.
Here's hoping for another couple of wet months so that these numbers can stop feeling so notable.