Lake Oroville: Lake Oroville, the primary storage reservoir for the California State Water Project, continues its downward trend ending August with 30% of its total capacity or 46% of average for that date. Storage levels are on par with what they were at the same time last year and are still above the historical low from the driest year on record (1976-1977).
The water year began with historic low levels of storage in Lake Oroville, and DWR moved 450,000 AF to San Luis Reservoir between late December and mid-January for operational purposes. With the end of the water year imminent, it is likely that DWR will leave the SWP allocation unchanged, despite decreasing storage levels. But new questions have emerged: How will the forecasted El Nino conditions impact storage levels? And, what will the initial SWP allocation for the 2016 water year be?