Tahoe levels drop astonishingly fast | TheUnion.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Tahoe levels drop astonishingly fast

TRUCKEE – Lake Tahoe will drop below its natural rim by early next week, showing the most severe signs of drought in 10 years.

Windy and dry conditions created an evaporation rate of almost 1.2 billion gallons per day during three days this week. That’s about 900 times the amount of water the lake loses to Truckee River flows, according to the federal watermaster.

Lake Tahoe is estimated to hold 39 trillion gallons of water.



The lake will fall below its rim approximately two months earlier than last year, meaning the Truckee River will have only ground water and flows from its tributaries to keep it from going completely dry.

Donner Lake is also showing signs of the water squeeze, as the Truckee Carson Irrigation District and the Truckee Meadows Water Authority pulled their water earlier and faster from the lake. Water levels will fall more than a foot every four days until the middle of October, when the lake will be down to minimum flows again.




“Our Donner Lake water is a hedge against drought, and this is the first year of the last five that we have had to use it,” said Bill Hauck, senior water supply coordinator for the Truckee Meadows Water Authority. “We’re in the fifth year of a drought, and each year of the last three the river has dropped off earlier.”

Lake Tahoe, which was less than an inch above the rim late this week, will be down to the rim by Sunday or Monday, depending on evaporation rates, according to the federal watermaster’s office. The lake will stay below that level until enough precipitation falls to raise it again, usually in mid-November.


Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User