SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Four straight days of stormy weather have replenished several key reservoirs in Northern California to historical averages, including Lake Shasta, which hasn’t been this full since May 2013.
Authorities say the state’s largest reservoir is at 79 percent capacity and at 103 percent of its historical average for this time of year. Butte County’s Lake Oroville is at 70 percent of capacity and 97 percent of its historical average, levels not seen since 2013.
Lake Shasta north of Redding is a critical water source for Central Valley farms and cities from the Bay Area to Bakersfield.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Shane Hunt said Monday that Shasta is welcome news but other critical reservoirs remain dry, including the man-made Lake Melones in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
California is entering its fifth year of drought and experts caution that it will take several years of average or above-average rainfall to remedy the deficit.