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Lake Nacimiento will be 20 percent full by Labor Day

Lake Nacimiento will be 20 percent full by Labor Day. Where does all the water go?
  • April 19, 2018 01:12 PM
Updated April 19, 2018 01:29 PM

One year removed from a particularly rainy winter, Lake Nacimiento landowners and boaters are facing a summer recreation season of dramatically lower water levels.
By Labor Day, Nacimiento will be too low to launch boats from most private ramps that dot a lake that has 163 miles of shoreline when it's full.
That's because Nacimiento — which has a total capacity of 377,900 acre-feet — is less a lake and more a huge agricultural reservoir used by Salinas Valley landowners in Monterey County.
Since it was built in 1957, recreational users, farmers and environmentalists have spent decades jockeying for control of the lake's water — a resource that has increasingly become like liquid gold.
This year, Nacimiento is expected to contain about 20 percent of its water by Sept. 1, down from 51 percent on April 18.
Nacimiento as a reservoir
So where does all the water go?

To read the rest of the article click here

Pillaging Lake Nacimiento - New Times SLO Article

Pillaging Lake Nacimiento 
We need a new agency and officials to manage this precious resource
Pillaging: To strip ruthlessly of all valuables by open violence, as in war; to plunder, despoil, abuse, and mistreat.
This describes what the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) is about to unleash upon Lake Nacimiento, a very large residential environment and unsuspecting wildlife population's habitat (which straddle the border with San Luis Obispo County). Both depend on the lake and its watershed's natural water resources.
The MCWRA's controversial and ongoing mismanagement of Lake Nacimiento water releases is one bone of contention in the ongoing saga of the Save The Dragon movement. The movement is trying to save the rain and water runoff that come into the reservoir from the very organization that was put in place in 1957 to protect it. While Southern and Central Californians are trying to preserve water in reservoirs around the state, our "protection agency" is draining our precious resource as fast as it can, with absolutely no reflection on the welfare of the residents or the wildlife that inhabits the lake and surrounding forests. The MCWRA does not negotiate in good faith, with good conduct or with good intentions. Read More...

Water Flow Chart Into and Out of Lake Nacimiento

Current Water Flow In and Out of Lake Nacimiento

Monterey County continued with thier releases even during the rain. It wasn’t until after we started getting the major flow into the lake that they slowed the releases.

Right now we are currently at 50% full. With the flow of the salinas river without the need of Naci let’s hope that Monterey holds the water in Naci for as long as they can before releasing it.

Remember, Any water that flows out of Naci and goes all the way to he ocean is wasted water.

Chart of the water flow into Lake Nacimiento - USGS Data

Chart of the Water flow out of Lake Nacimiento - USGS Data

Lake Levels during this past rain event - Monterey County Data


Petition to Prohibit the Proposed Water Released at Lake Naciminto

Petition to Prohibit the Proposed Water Releases at Lake Nacimiento

Water Release News from the San Luis Obispo Tribune

Below there is an article that appears in the San Luis Obispo Tribune as well as a followup Letter to the Editor


The original article can be found

Nacimiento has lost half its water — and other SLO County reservoirs are down, too
February 27, 2018 05:51 PM
Updated February 27, 2018 07:09 PM
Less than a year after emerging from five years of parched conditions, another dry winter is taking its toll on San Luis Obispo County reservoirs.
As of Feb. 22, most of the county had slipped back into severe drought conditions,
according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. As a result, the region’s reservoirs are all down from this time last year, with some losing substantially more water than others.
Lake Nacimiento, Lake San Antonio and Santa Margarita Lake have all lost significant amounts of water since early 2017.
Lake Nacimiento was 96.5 percent full on Feb. 23 last year. On Monday, it was at 40 percent of capacity, according to the Monterey County Water Resources Agency.

Lake San Antonio was 31 percent full on Monday, compared to
46 percent on Feb. 23 last year. Monterey County manages the two lakes, although Lake Nacimiento is located in San Luis Obispo County.
“It’s Mother Nature,” said Brent Buche, deputy general manager for the Water Resources Agency. “It’s rainfall — it’s lack of rainfall.”
Even though officials release water from Lake Nacimiento to recharge the Salinas Valley aquifer and preserve fisheries, Buche said the agency hasn’t released more water than normal.

“Our releases were not excessive of any other year,” he said.
Santa Margarita Lake in the North County has lost about a fifth of its water — to 79.8 percent capacuty from 101.2 at this time last year.
“We were in a worse state last year,” said Ray Dienzo, the county’s supervising water resources engineer. “The two miracle rain months raised it past 100 percent.”
Rain is in the forecast for San Luis Obispo County this week, but Dienzo said it might not do much for the area’s lake and reservoir levels.
“I wouldn’t expect there to be much of a rise from this little rain,” he said. “The ground still needs to be saturated.”
Still, some of the county’s reservoir levels held steady, in spite of the lack of rain.
Whale Rock Reservoir near Cayucos was 72.7 percent full as of Feb. 21. The water level is down only slightly from last year at this time, when it was 73.5 percent full, according to Noah Evans, the reservoir supervisor.
Lopez Lake was at 50.2 percent of capacity on Monday, down just 6 percentage points from last February, when it was 56 percent full.

Evans said Whale Rock hasn’t lost much water because the region continued to get rain into late spring in 2017 and the reservoir wasn’t drawn down very much throughout the rest of the year.
“Last year, we were still filling up the tank, so to speak, through May,” he said.
Evans said he’s not too worried yet, as there’s still “quite a bit of fuel in the tank.”
“We’d like to see the reservoir full all the time,” he said. “... I can worry all I want — I still can’t make it rain.”


The original article can be found here
Monterey County has some explaining to do about Lake Nacimiento
March 07, 2018 08:44 PM
If the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, which controls all the water in Lake Nacimiento, had a motto it would be: “If you don’t like what we did before, wait until you see what we do next.”
This lake is currently at 40 percent of capacity; a year ago it was at 96.5 percent. Why has it gone down so much? Brent Buche, the deputy general manager of the Water Resources Agency, blames “Mother Nature,” what with the nasty drought and all.

That might be true if Mother Nature controlled the spigot and dumped 60 cubic feet of water per second from the reservoir into the Salinas River. But it wasn’t Mother Nature who did that, it was Buche and his cohorts in Monterey County. By the way, a water release of 60 cubic feet per second (60 cfs) amounts to 36 million gallons per day.
And guess what they’re planning next? The Water Resources Agency is going to ramp up the release of water to 295 cfs by mid-March, and up to 450 cfs from April through the middle of July.
Make Monterey County explain this. And don’t let them blame Mother Nature.