Updated: January 31, 2023

Folsom, Calif.- Heavy rains, big snow along with power outages, overflowing rivers and high winds rocked Northern California to end 2022 in dramatic fashion. A healthy dose of hydrologic optimism has eased concerns for the moment of dire predictions for a dry winter. The season is off to a strong start with more rain and snow on the way for early 2023. Hope remains strong for replenishing California’s 10 largest reservoirs this spring.

Locally, Folsom Lake begins the New Year 140 percent of average. Lake Oroville, which was forced to shut off it hydropower in 2022 after , now is reported at 69 percent of average, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Predictions of another dry year are being tempered by a very strong start to rain season. California reservoirs are beginning this season at a much better position than the same time last year. Bring on that snow and rain!

California's Top 10 Reservoirs

Did You Know?

  • Taller than the Hoover Dam, the Lake Oroville Dam at 770 feet is the tallest in the United States.
  • An acre foot is approximately 326,000 gallons. The average U.S. household is estimated to use between one half to one acre foot per year.
  • In 2017, the Lake Oroville Dam spillway at risk of failure caused a large scale evacuation

Total Outdoor use accounts for an estimated 30 percent of water use according the U.S. EPA.

California reservoir levels over time

January 31, 2023

RESERVOIR% Capacity% Average
Shasta Lake5687
New Melones4170
Don Pedro75106
Lake Oroville64111
Trinity Lake3149
San Luis Res6081
New Bullards Bar81 124
Lake McClure61128
Pine Flat Res52130

January 1, 2023

RESERVOIR% Capacity% Average
Shasta Lake3357
New Melones2953
Don Pedro5886
Lake Oroville3669
Trinity Lake2338
San Luis Res3454
New Bullards Bar68 110
Lake McClure2762
Pine Flat Res2675

November 1, 2022

RESERVOIR% Capacity% Average
Shasta Lake3158
New Melones2445
Don Pedro4975
Lake Oroville3161
Trinity Lake2238
San Luis Res2555
New Bullards Bar62 103
Lake McClure1842
Pine Flat Res1656
Folsom Lake 2022
January 2022

Oct 1, 2021

RESERVOIR% Capacity% Average
Shasta Lake2439
New Melones3563
Don Pedro5074
Lake Oroville2236
Trinity Lake2943
San Luis Res1226
New Bullards Bar4167
Lake McClure2045
Pine Flat Res2059
Folsom Lake2341

Top 10 California Reservoirs – July 4, 2021

RESERVOIR% Capacity% Average
Shasta Lake3848
New Melones5079
Don Pedro6177
Lake Oroville3139
Trinity Lake4755
San Luis Res3251
New Bullards Bar5362
Lake McClure3753
Pine Flat Res2841
Folsom Lake2935

data source: California Dept of Water Resources

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