OROVILLE, Calif. — California's reservoirs are shrinking quickly as a drought grips the western United States.
Reservoirs should be full this time of year as the sun melts snowpack from a wet winter. But this past year was the third driest on record in terms of precipitation.
California's reservoirs are about 50% lower than they should be, and it's only going to get worse as the summer drags on.
According to state data, not a single reservoir in the state is meeting its historical average, as of June 14. In the region, reservoirs like Don Pedro, Folsom, New Melones, and Lake Oroville are all below the historical average.
Toward the center of California, New Melones and Don Pedro are typically at more than 80% for their historical average, but state data shows they're both trailing behind that figure. Don Pedro is at 64% of total capacity and New Melones is at 54%.
Further north, Lake Oroville and Folsom Lake are also trailing. State data shows that their historical average is usually more than 40%, but both are behind that figure. Folsom Lake is at 34% of total capacity and Lake Oroville is at 35%.
State officials say Lake Oroville, one of their most important reservoirs, could reach record lows by late August or September. That poses problems for farmers, fish, tourism and energy production.
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