City: With Low Lake Levels, Folsom Residents Must Reduce Water Use

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Folsom Lake is so low that all of its boat launches are closed.

“It looks like a moonscape. It’s very muddy,” Folsom resident Toney Schlesinger said.

“It’s lower than I have ever seen it before. It’s depressing to see it at such a low lake level,” said RJ Kouri.

Over at the Folsom Lake boat launch in Granite Bay, cars were parked in what should be the middle of the lake.

“We should be standing in water right now. At this point this is the lowest I have seen it in 30 years,” fisherman John Enos said.

Enos makes his living on Folsom Lake. He says it drops several feet each day. That’s why the City of Folsom is asking all businesses and residents to cut back 20% of their water usage.

“We are looking for the reductions to occur primarily in the landscape irrigation. We feel you can obviously use a lot less at this time of year with plants being dormant, grass potentially being dormant. They don’t need nearly as much water as they do in the summer,” Folsom’s Environmental and Water Resources Director Marcus Yasutake said.

Yasutake says 80% of a household’s water is used on landscaping. This reduction is mandatory, and if people comply, will save 170 acre-feet of water. That’s about the water need to fill 85 Olympic size swimming pools.

“There is a potential in the municipal code to identify various fines we are hoping for volunteer cooperation and that will get us where we need to be,” said Yasutake.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, Folsom Lake can hold around 977,000 acre feet of water. Right now, there is only about 200,000 acre feet of water. Folsom residents say they have no problem cutting back on water to save their precious lake

“We don’t get any rain, they don’t get any snow in the mountains,” Enos said. “We are going to be really hurting this year because not only is this lake low, Oroville and Shasta is real low right now.”

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