An ongoing project we started in the KQED newsroom last winter: California Reservoir Watch.

What does the watch show today? Most of our reservoirs are just sloshing with water after a wet fall. And while it’s still too early to make a call on whether we’ll wind up with a wet winter—as our Climate Watch senior editor reported earlier today, we’re in a La Niña winter, which means a better than average chance most of the state will have a dryer-than-normal season. But for now, let’s enjoy the abundance of the moment.

Lake Shasta, the state’s biggest reservoir, is at 117 percent of normal for the date. Lake Oroville, the main reservoir for the State Water Project, has risen from 75 percent of normal a month ago to 89 percent today. And operators of some of the state’s big dams have begun releasing water just to maintain a margin of safety in case of continued heavy rains and flooding. A daily state report on water storage shows the biggest reservoirs at a collective 114 percent of normal. And the Sierra snowpack—the seasonal water storehouse the state depends on—it’s at 206 percent of average for the date.

View KQED: California Reservoir Watch in a larger map

California Weather & Water: How Full Are the Reservoirs? 22 December,2010Dan Brekke


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area’s transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED’s comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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