El Niño is rapidly filling California’s once-dusty reservoirs, easing drought


El Niño may not be showing up in Southern California. But it's having a big effect in Northern California, where a series of storms are rapidly filling reservoirs.

Together the Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville reservoirs have a capacity of more than 8 million acre-feet of water. After a wet weekend in Northern California, Lake Shasta was above its average for this time of year, and by 4 p.m. Monday Lake Oroville had surpassed its historical average, said Department of Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson.

The rising reservoirs, along with growing snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, are important because both are key sources of water for California. The snowpack now stands at 92% of normal statewide, with the northern area now at 102% of normal.

Shasta Lake

A key source for the state's water works

Lake Oroville

Another key source of water for the state.

Lake Folsom

Once-anemic Lake Folsom is now at 116% of historical average for the date and at 69% of total capacity.


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