Water agencies and cities that rely on Folsom Lake for water are preparing for continued drought conditions and low lake levels. They are requiring customers to cut water use, some by up to 25 percent. They are monitoring the situation daily. To see real-time Folsom Lake levels, click here

Choose your water district below
for info on your current water restrictions and more

WATER CONSERVATION

NECESSARY NOW!

Water agencies and cities that rely on Folsom Lake for water are preparing for continued drought conditions and low lake levels. They are requiring customers to cut water use, some by up to 25 percent. They are monitoring the situation daily. To see real-time Folsom Lake levels, click here

Choose your water district below
for info on your current water restrictions and more

LOW FOLSOM LAKE

FOLSOM LAKE FULL

VIEW IS FROM THE SAME LOCATION - CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE | VIEW ARCHIVED PHOTOS
Folsom Lake Levels
  • Folsom Lake looks low. How bad is it and what does it mean for customers?
  • Folsom Lake is at critically low levels and that means our customers need to conserve water. We have asked our customers to conserve water both outdoors and indoors at significant levels. Please check with your water provider for specific water conservation mandates. 
  • Who manages the water at Folsom Lake and what other purposes does the lake serve?
  • Folsom Lake serves multiple purposes in the Sacramento region and further south into the Delta. The first and primary purpose of lake Folsom is to provide flood control for the Sacramento region, while working to provide adequate water for other uses. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates the lake, managing water contracts for water agencies like San Juan Water District and the cities of Roseville and Folsom. The lake’s supply provides water to a half million people in the Sacramento region, half of which rely entirely on the water from the lake. Reclamation also guarantees environmental regulations are managed fairly. Water from Folsom Lake also sustains the habitat for fish and wildlife along the Lower American River.

    Reclamation operates the lake based on assumptions and data available to predict how rainfall and snowmelt will fill the lake during the winter months. Traditionally, the water in the lake is used during summer months to meet water supply demands and environmental flows in the Lower American River, which also makes room for flood protection during our traditionally wet winters. With the extremely dry winter, Folsom Lake has not refilled and adequate water has not been stored to be used during the upcoming summer. Because of that, Reclamation is balancing the environmental needs downstream of the lake and the water demands of people in the region.
  • Folsom Lake hit a lower level in the summer of 1977, so what’s different now?
  • Folsom Lake is currently lower than it was during the same time of the year in 1977. At the rate the lake is dropping the lake will be at a lower level than it was going into the second year of the 1977 drought, our barometer for the driest years on record. With higher water demands because of our increased population and more stringent environmental water requirements we will draw the lake even lower if the dry year situation continues.
Water Supply Solutions
  • What are you doing to protect your customers’ water supplies?
  • We will have enough water for our customers even if 2014 is dry. However, water supplies may get so low that we can only provide water for health and safety uses. We are working with other water agencies and the state and federal government to determine how much water is needed and finding alternative water supplies.

    We meet regularly with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that manages water in Folsom Lake, to address how much we think we’ll need for the future and how much water they release from the lake. They have been responsive to our needs so far and we plan to continue working together in the future.

    You can also read about our advocacy efforts for long-term water policy at ProtectOurFolsomWater.com.
  • If Folsom Lake goes to dead-pool and you can’t get water out, what’s Plan B?
  • We are working with Reclamation to install water pumps further out into Folsom Lake to provide the agencies with adequate indoor water supplies for our customers. This includes requiring agencies with access to groundwater to use those supplies first to maintain available surface water for those without access to groundwater.
  • How are you working to keep as much water in the lake as possible?
  • We are working with the Water Forum, a group that includes water providers, environmentalists and business leaders, to consider ways to balance the water needs of people with those of fish and wildlife, all of which rely on the wild and scenic lower American River. The Water Forum agreed to reduce water flows out of the lake. Doing so will mean more water stored in Folsom Reservoir to meet the needs of over 500,000 people who rely on the reservoir for their water, including those living in Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, Citrus Heights, Orangevale and Fair Oaks. At the same time, this immediate reduction will benefit fish overall if current dry conditions persist, by preserving water--and cold water--for later in the year.
  • Is there enough water for us if we don’t get a lot more rain?
  • Yes, but the amount of water is not sufficient to maintain ”business as usual.” We are working to ensure the service areas for the water providers around Folsom Lake have access to at least health and safety levels of water supply.
Water Conservation
  • How much water am I supposed to conserve?
  • At a minimum, we are all asking customers to reduce their water use by 20 percent. Please click on your water provider’s logo above to find out your specific restrictions. If you do not know who your water provider is, use this link to search by your address.
  • Are businesses also asked to reduce water use?
  • Yes, all customers receiving water from our agencies are required to reduce their water use and this includes businesses. Each water provider has different requirements so please contact your water provider for details. 
  • Will water quality be impacted by the water levels?
  • You may notice a change in the temperature or taste of your water. However, you will still receive high quality drinking water. The water temperature will increase in Folsom Lake naturally because there is less water and we are experiencing a warmer winter.
Cost
  • Will my rates go up because it will cost more to get additional water?
  • If we get to this point, yes. During periods of drought, water agencies must determine other ways to provide customers with more water. Oftentimes, this costs more than our normal water supply methods cost. We understand this is an unfortunate consequence of drought conditions, but providing reliable and high quality water supplies to customers is our top priority.
Growth and Economic Development 
  • Will you be allowing new connections during this time?
  • If conditions get to emergency levels, some agencies will not allow new connections. Our priority is to maintain at minimum health and safety levels of water use for our current customers. If we determine water levels to reach extreme lows some agencies may not issue new connection permits until the situation gets better.
Conservation Requirements and Enforcement
  • If we are in such a dire situation, why aren’t you enforcing water restrictions now?
  • We are. Customers are asked to reduce their water use to decrease the demand on Folsom Lake water supplies. If we do not see significant rainfall soon, we will be implementing stricter rationing measures. Specific water restrictions are available on individual water provider websites.
  • What should customers do if they see a home or business violating water conservation actions?
  • Customers should contact their water provider if they see someone violating water conservation measures.