National Drought Mitigation Center


California reservoir recovery slowing

June 14, 2016

California’s pace of statewide reservoir recovery slowed during May, as high-elevation snowpack mostly finished melting out. The state’s 154 reservoirs gained only about two-thirds of a million acre-feet of water during May, with overall storage dipping from 89 percent of the April 30 average to 87 percent of the May 31 average.

Still, end-of-month statewide storage topped 25 million acre-feet for the first time since May 31, 2013, – exactly three years ago.  And, the total 2015-16 recharge value of 14.66 million acre-feet is 178 percent of the historical average.

-- Analysis by Brad Rippey, USDA, U.S. Drought Monitor author, based on data from the California Department of Water Resources