Grave Concerns Over Folsom Lake for Water Officials

At its June 4 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors expressed grave concern over the projected drop in water levels at Folsom Lake.

Reacting to an order last week by the State Water Resource Control Board to conserve cold water supplies in the Shasta Reservoir system, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is releasing water from Folsom Reservoir at a rate that could drop lake levels within a few feet of the water supply outlet that serves the City of Roseville, City of Folsom, and San Juan Water District.

“If the current plan remains unchanged and we experience a dry fall, we could see half a million people in the region without water,” PCWA General Manager, Einar Maisch said. “This could, in effect, destroy the entire region’s economy.”

By holding cold water supplies at Shasta Reservoir now, it is expected cold water will be available for winter run Salmon in the Sacramento River. Releases at Folsom Lake increased from 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 2,000 cfs (approximately 4,000 acre-feet per day). Under current modeling, Folsom Lake levels could drop to approximately 118,000 acre-feet by the end of September. By comparison, in January 2014 Folsom reached its recent record low of 162,000 acre-feet, just before near record high February rains. 118,000 acre-feet would be 16 feet lower than the level reached in January 2014.

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