The El Niño-fueled storms that have swept through Northern California in recent weeks have swelled some of the state’s largest reservoirs to encouraging levels even as the state’s drought persists.
One of the biggest beneficiaries has been Lake Shasta, a keystone reservoir of the Central Valley project, which serves California growers.
El Nino has helped bring a parade of storms to the region. Lake Shasta has risen 134 feet since early December! pic.twitter.com/XUj5o0BNZO
— NWS Medford (@NWSMedford) March 24, 2016
To make room in Shasta for water from last weekend’s storms, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation ramped up releases from 5,000 cubic feet per second to 20,000 cubic feet per second on March 18. It was the first time since 2011 that the bureau released water into the upper Sacramento River at such a rapid rate, said spokesman Shane Hunt.
Officials began slowing the releases again on Wednesday, Hunt said. The rate is expected to return to around 5,000 cubic feet per second by Monday.
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— Damon Arthur (@damonarthur_RS) March 23, 2016