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

By Andrew V. Pestano

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.


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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