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As wet weather has continued to impact California, some reservoirs across the state are being managed with scheduled releases of water to prevent flooding, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

After 14 atmospheric rivers hit back-to-back this winter, reservoirs began filling quickly. Though most of the major reservoirs aren’t full yet, several are significantly higher than they have been historically. This is especially true in Central California at the Don Pedro, Camanche and Oroville reservoirs, KTLA sister station KRON reports.

Northern California

Video shared by DWR shows a large release of water from Lake Oroville down into the Feather River at a rate of 35,000 cubic feet per second. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working with downstream water operators to schedule releases in an effort to manage flood control.

The water release has caused a closure of Oro Dam Boulevard between Rusty Dusty Road and Canyon Drive because the water spray across the road reduces driver visibility. Drivers can still access the Oroville Dam and the State Recreation area by using State Route 162 and Canyon Drive, according to DWR.

(Photo courtesy of Dept. of Water Resources)
ReservoirJanuary LevelMarch Level
Shasta49% of capacity73% of capacity
Trinity29% of capacity35% of capacity
Sonoma57% of capacity75% of capacity
Oroville54% of capacity83% of capacity
New Bullards Bar78% of capacity83% of capacity
Folsom47% of capacity64% of capacity

Central California

San Luis Reservoir more than doubled its water levels over the past two months of wet weather. Nearly all Central California reservoirs are above 80% capacity, a significant sign of progress in the drought-ridden area.

ReservoirJanuary LevelMarch Level
Camanche73% of capacity81% of capacity
New Melones36% of capacity54% of capacity
Don Pedro72% of capacity88% of capacity
McClure50% of capacity82% of capacity
Pine Flat44% of capacity78% of capacity
Millerton82% of capacity80% of capacity
San Luis43% of capacity91% of capacity
(Photo courtesy of Dept. of Water Resources)

Southern California

Reservoirs across SoCal aren’t gaining water as quickly as their Northern and Central California counterparts, but Cachuma Reservoir is nearly at capacity. Cachuma’s levels grew quickly in January when the atmospheric rivers that hit California caused the water levels to rise by 36 feet in a 24-hour period.

ReservoirJanuary LevelMarch Level
Cachuma 84% of capacity96% of capacity
Casitas37% of capacity56% of capacity
Castaic54% of capacity73% of capacity
Diamond Valley61% of capacity60% of capacity

With more wet weather forecasted for California in the coming weeks, reservoir levels could continue to rise. The state continues to be impacted by mudslides and downed trees, but the moisture is till a welcome sign of relief for a state so heavily hit by drought.