Lake Oroville Community Update: Jan. 31


An aerial photo of Lake Oroville.

An aerial photo of Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

DWR Conducts Second Snow Survey of the Year

Each month beginning in January and ending in May, DWR, and partner agencies, conduct 260 manual snow surveys at a variety of locations in the Sierra mountains to measure the depth and snow water equivalent (SWE) of the snowpack. The SWE is the amount of water contained in the snowpack, which provides DWR with a more accurate forecast of spring runoff. The January 2 snow survey at Phillips Station found 33.5 inches of snow depth and a SWE of 11 inches (97 percent of average for that location), Thursday’s snow survey found 40.5 inches of snow depth and a SWE of 14.5 inches. The statewide average of all measured sites shows a SWE of 12 inches, which is 71 percent of normal for this time of year. With little or no rain in the extended forecast, California residents are urged to be water-wise and continue their water conservation habits.

Oroville Dam’s Office of Emergency Services Approved Emergency Action Plan

A recent audit by the CA State Auditor reported on how many dams have had their Emergency Action Plans approved. Oroville Dam’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP) was one of the first approved by CA Office of Emergency Services under new EAP requirements legislation passed in 2017.  Oroville Field Division, responsible for the operation of Oroville Dam and its related facilities, works actively with local emergency response and assistance agencies, law enforcement partners and community organizations to prepare, plan and respond to a dam emergency, including providing ‘real-time’ training to area partners. Complying with requirements from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Oroville Dam consistently operates with an EAP. The latest revision provides a comprehensive plan for responding to a variety of emergency scenarios involving Oroville Dam and its related facilities.

Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee Holds First 2020 Meeting

The first meeting of 2020 for the Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee (ORAC) will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, February 7, at the Southside Oroville Community Center on 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road in Oroville. ORAC was established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review and provide recommendations regarding DWR’s recreation plan for the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. The 13-member committee is made up of representatives from state and local government, sports and recreation groups, and business and community organizations. The public is invited to attend.

California Natural Resources Agency to Host Third Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission Public Meeting in February

The California Natural Resources Agency is hosting its third Citizens Advisory Commission meeting on Friday, February 21. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will take place at the Southside Community Center located at 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road. Additional information about the Commission can be found on the Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission webpage. The agenda and other meeting materials will be posted in the coming weeks. The public is invited to attend.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 800 feet and storage is 2.2 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between approximately 4,620 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 9,565 cfs over the past week.

Dry and warmer conditions are forecasted this weekend. Into the week of February 3, expect cooler and continued dry conditions. Currently, in the Northern Sierra Basin, rainfall is below average, at 64 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 76 percent of normal for this time of year.

Water is being released from Lake Oroville at a rate of about 1,900 cfs. Water from the reservoir is being used locally for rice stubble decomposition and to support waterfowl habitat and is also being used to meet Feather River flow and environmental requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Releases to support waterfowl habitat are expected to cease in early February.  Total releases to the Feather River are 1,750 cfs, with about 800 cfs flowing through the City of Oroville and 950 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet.

All data as of midnight 1/30/20


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