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California's Lake Oroville water level rises dramatic 26 feet in 12 days

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Jan. 20, 2016 at 7:10 AM

Lake Oroville has risen more than 20 feet in the last week! Today it is at 34% of capacity! #WeStillNeedMoreSnowandRain #CADrought

Posted by California Department of Water Resources on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

OROVILLE, Calif., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- California's Lake Oroville reservoir has risen nearly 26 feet in the past 12 days as consistent rains continue to bring relief to the drought-stricken state.

California's Department of Water Resources estimates the reservoir was at an elevation of 698.14 feet of water on Wednesday, out of a maximum elevation of 900. More rain is expected in the coming weeks, which could bring up to 30 more feet of depth to Lake Oroville.

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Though the mountain lake is getting deeper as rains flow in, it remains about one-third full in terms of volume, measured in acre-feet. On Wednesday, the lake was at 1.2 million acre-feet, up 25 percent from Jan. 1. One acre-foot roughly covers an area the size of a football field with 1 foot of water, or enough to supply a typical family for a year.

"This is excellent. This is what we need," Kevin Wright , the Sierra Valley watermaster for Department of Water Resources, told KRCR 7 News. "We are not out of the drought ... The lake has a long ways to go before it's full. So, we still need to conserve water."

Lake Oroville registered a 30-year low elevation of 647.74 feet of water -- 908,980 acre-feet -- on Dec. 9.

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