March 4, 2014
Due to low rainfall since January 2013, Lake County is experiencing one of its driest years on record. Clear Lake is low, groundwater levels are low, and our creeks are barely flowing. Although the rainstorms the first and last weeks of February 2014 have helped, drought conditions exist and will persist if we do not receive substantially more rainfall this year.
If we do not receive substantial rain for the remainder of the winter, based on today’s lake level of +1.6 feet Rumsey, The lake level could reach between -1.0 and -1.5 feet Rumsey by Fall 2014. Levels could be below Zero Rumsey by Labor Day. These will be the lowest lake levels since 1977, when the lake dropped from -0.30 feet Rumsey in February to -3.39 feet Rumsey in November. Navigation and the ability to launch boats will be impacted by these low lake levels.
Due to the current drought conditions, staff measured 83 water wells in the major groundwater basins between January 23 and 27, 2014. These are the wells that are normally measured in April and October of each year to assess groundwater conditions. Based on the current measurements, groundwater conditions within each groundwater basin are summarized. These summaries are general statements and due to varying aquifer conditions do not cover all conditions. Individual well owners may experience conditions substantially different than the general condition (some of our wells show markedly different conditions than other nearby wells) and problems are more likely with shallow wells. A report on these measurements is located here, including the maps and well hydrographs.
We measured 12 wells in Big Valley on March 3 (these wells are normally measured monthly). The February runoff has raised water levels from a few tenths of a foot to nearly 10 feet, depending on the location. We expect most of the major aquifers to respond in a similar manner. We will be measuring the 83 wells in April 2014 and will update or report at that time.
All residents and property owners are encouraged to conserve water this year. Information on conserving water is available at the following links:
Last Updated: March 4, 2014