Black Oak's Blog

It's nice to know that even if the rain seems unending, it is helping out the local reservoirs.


From the Press Democrat,

Lake Mendocino's water supply pool now full

Lake Mendocino, a crucial reservoir in the Sonoma County Water Agency's water supply system, completely filled its water supply pool Friday morning for the first time in three years.

The lake holds 68,400 acre-feet of water before it reaches into the flood pool, where the excess can be released into the Russian River by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control purposes.

It is something the Water Agency didn't expect even a month ago, before storms started in early January pelting the North Coast with much-need rainfall after three dry years.

“I never could predict the weather,” said Mike Thompson, the Water Agency's deputy chief engineer for flooding.

The lake and the Russian River is the sole source of water for agriculture and residents from Ukiah to Healdsburg and also stores water for the fall run of chinook salmon, which are on the federal threatened list.

Largely because of its low level the past two years, water conservation measures had been ordered in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties to store water for release during the fall for the chinook spawning run.

Although the Army Corps will be releasing water to minimize the threat of flooding downstream, on March 1 as the threat diminishes it will begin letting water encroach into the flood pool.

“We are hoping now for March rains, March rains generate runoff the corps is able to keep in the reservoir,” Thompson said. “This is great news, it's is great to have 100 percent of water supply capacity.”

By mid May, as the corps increases the amount of water allowed in the flood pool, Lake Mendocino could have as much as 111,000 acre-feet of water.

Lake Sonoma reached its water capacity, 245,000 acre-feet, on Jan. 25. It is the primary source of water for 600,000 Sonoma and Marin county residents.

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