Article Image

IPFS News Link • California

California reservoir is filled to capacity for first time since 1998 after drought-hit...


California reservoir has been filled to capacity for the first time since 1998 after the Golden State saw a year of heavy storm and historic rain. 

After 25 years of drought, Lake Casitas in Ventura County reached capacity last week after storms from last year pushed water levels to 70 percent - and this year's intense weather conditions gave the reservoir the final push. 

On Friday, a steady stream of water spilled from the previously drought-stressed reservoir - despite being at just 28 percent in 2022.

The water had reached the spillway's elevation at 567 feet - allowing water to finally start trickling down the spillway once again, according to the Casitas Municipal Water District.

'It's one of the most beautiful things of the whole environment around it. Everyone is excited, including myself,' said Mary Bergen, one of the water district's board of directors. 

Bergen attributes the lake's recent filling to 'two very good rains year' and the the fact that this year's rainfall was very consistent. She added that it takes about five or six inches of rain before runoff starts reaching the lake, according to SFGATE.  

Lake Casitas, which is fed water by two creeks and a diversion structure, hasn't spilled since 1998. 

It was created in 1958 and has since faced decades of challenges - including storms, droughts and California's rabid wildfires. 

In 1960, the lake received 20 inches of water in less than a week - however the reservoir didn't fill again until two decades after its initial construction in 1978 because of $1.5 million of infrastructure damages that came after a series of storms.

In 1978, the reservoir filled up fully for the first time and allowed the lake to host rowing and canoeing events at part of the 1984 Olympic Games when it was last hosted by Los Angeles.