California drought: 5-mph speed limit imposed on boats at Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake's low water level can be seen behind the Folsom Dam in a photo taken Aug. 19.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

With water levels at Folsom Lake down sharply, officials are imposing a 5-mph speed limit for boaters in the latest sign of California’s extreme drought conditions.

California State Parks officials say the low speed limit is needed to reduce safety risks in what has become a much smaller pool of water to navigate in.

“We urge people to exercise extreme caution while boating on the lake, both for their safety and to prevent damage to their watercraft,” said Rich Preston, the Folsom Sector’s park superintendent.


Rocks along the Sierra-Nevada foothills lake bed are closer to the surface because of the low water level, posing danger to boats. A majority of the lake’s boat ramps are unusable because they are completely dry.

Folsom Lake is just one of the California’s bodies of water that have experienced significant drops in water levels.

According to the latest U.S. Drought figures, nearly 82% of the state is experiencing an “extreme” drought, the second-harshest level on a five-category scale.

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