Shasta Lake at 38% capacity heading into the hottest months of the year

Shasta Lake, one of the state’s largest reservoirs, currently has a 38% utilization rate, a staggering number for the hottest months of the year.

Part of the State Water Project, a roughly 700-mile lifeline that pumps and carries water as far as Southern California, the reservoir is the driest time of year since records began in 1976.

California relies on storms and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada to fill its reservoirs. The state received a hopeful sign of a wet winter in late December, when more than 17 feet of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada. But the winter storms stopped abruptly, ushering in the driest January, February and March on record. Snowpack — a critical “water bank” for the state heading into summer — has melted much faster than expected due to higher-than-average temperatures.

A houseboat is framed by deep bathtub rings from years of drought on California's Shasta Lake.

A houseboat is framed by deep bathtub rings from years of drought on California’s Shasta Lake.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

The Pit River Bridge spans Shasta Lake and is now only at 38% capacity.

The Pit River Bridge spans Shasta Lake and is now only at 38% capacity.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Shasta Lake at dusk.

Shasta Lake at dusk.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Boats glide through the water at Shasta Lake near the exposed shoreline

Boats glide through the water at Shasta Lake as more and more shoreline is exposed.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A motorboat glides through the depleted waters of Shasta Lake.

A motorboat glides through the depleted waters of Shasta Lake.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

People enjoy the shores of Shasta Lake.

People enjoy the shores of Shasta Lake.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A boat glides through the water at Shasta Lake.

A boat glides through the water at Shasta Lake.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Traffic on Interstate 5 crosses Shasta Lake via the Pit River Bridge.

Traffic on Interstate 5 crosses Shasta Lake via the Pit River Bridge.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Years of drought has reduced the water level at Shasta Lake to 38% of its capacity.

Years of drought has reduced the water level at Shasta Lake to 38% of its capacity.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

That "bathtub ring" at Shasta Lake shows the drop in water levels at the reservoir.

The “bathtub ring” at Shasta Lake shows the drop in water level at the reservoir.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-22/shasta-lake-at-38-percent-capacity-heading-into-the-hottest-months-of-the-year Shasta Lake at 38% capacity heading into the hottest months of the year

Alley Einstein

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