Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the largest man-made reservoir in California, Lake Shasta, which filled to nearly 100 percent capacity in May 2023. This is the highest level that Shasta has reached in four years.
“Since 2019, a prolonged period of extreme drought resulted in dwindling reservoir levels. In the early months of 2023, heavy rains and meltwater from an above-average mountain snowpack caused a notable turnaround,” said NASA.
“Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, was also near capacity on May 29, at 97 percent full. Both Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake are critical not only for water storage, but also for flood control, recreation, irrigating cropland in the Central Valley, and preventing saltwater intrusion into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.”
NASA noted that full reservoirs do not ensure plentiful water for years into the future, and that the past four years are a testament to how drastically reservoirs can change in a short amount of time.
“The California DWR is collaborating with other agencies to incorporate better forecasting and observation technologies in order to optimize water releases.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory