California reservoirs remain low

Low level of water in Lake Shasta
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Although the weather has cooled off and there has been precipitation, California’s reservoirs are still low.  As of November 28, most of the reservoirs are below 50% capacity.

According to the State’s Department of Water ResourcesOpens in a new tab.:

  • Shasta is at 31% capacity;
  • Oroville is at 28% capacity;
  • New Bullards Bar is at 58% capacity;
  • Folsom is at 26% capacity;
  • Camanche is at 50% capacity;
  • Trinity is at 22% capacity;
  • New Melones is at 24% capacity;
  • Don Pedro is at 50% capacity;
  • Sonoma is at 26% capacity;
  • San Luis is at 25% capacity;
  • McClure is at 18% capacity;
  • Cachuma is at 32% capacity;
  • Casitas is at 28% capacity;
  • Castaic is at 35% capacity;
  • Diamond Valley is at 61% capacity;
  • Millerton is at 58% capacity; and
  • Pine Flat is at 17% capacity.

Except for Millerton which exceeds historic averages, the rest of the state’s reservoirs fall below average.

Because of La Nina, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Opens in a new tab. predicts lower than average precipitation for parts of California this winter.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California,Opens in a new tab. average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban.  The amounts fluctuate across regions and between wet and dry years.  The Institute reports that both urban and agricultural water consumption has gone down over the last two years.

Image description and credit:

Low levels of water in Lake ShastaOpens in a new tab. within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California (2005).  Bobjgalindo, Wikimedia Commons.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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November 28, 2022 4:33 pm
These reservoirs have exceptionally low percentages. It is weird though that we have gotten precipitation, yet these reservoirs are still incredibly low.
December 2, 2022 12:37 pm
Urban and agricultural water usage has dropped over the last two years. That is amazing under the current circumstances. La Nina needs a spanking, we NEED precipitation desperately, these percentages are horrible. I still hope for a hearty winter and wet spring!

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