Despite Drought – Folsom Lake Officials Expected to Start Dumping Water

February 3, 2016

Folsom lake level feb 02 2015

Yes, it’s true. In spite of the fact that we’re in the midst of a drought, Folsom dam operators may soon be forced to start releasing water down the American River.

The problem is that a legal winter capacity limit was established following a near flood disaster in 1986, and since then, operators must release water if the capacity rises above 59%, or 577,000 acre feet. As of midnight, it was at 558,000 acre feet, or 57%, and rising at a rate of 500 acre feet per hour.

It could reach the legal limit within the next 2 days.

When the new dyke and spillway projects are complete, the lake will have added protection and become more efficient at holding and releasing water, preventing this from happening again. In the meantime, despite the drought, they have to send water down the river.

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