Water Watch

Jul 2, 2014 8:52 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Low levels at lakes not expected to affect July Fourth holiday weekend

The drought continues to dry up lakes and reservoirs across California. It's so bad, some water levels are now at a record levels. With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, KSBY wanted to see if the lack of water will affect recreation businesses.

Santa Margarita Lake, for example, is currently at 30% capacity. And the water levels are catching the attention of visitors and businesses nearby.

Neil Karwath is camping at the KOA Kampground at Santa Margarita Lake. He said he was shocked to see where the line of water used to be at the lake.

"And the docks that were floating are now dry docks, and I think people see that on the mass media and that makes them very concerned," said Karwath.

But, the lack of water is not stopping Karwath from seeking the camp adventure.

Meghan Egli with KOA Kampground said people like Karwath are buying camp spots and fishing licenses because you can still fish and boat at the lake.

San Luis Obispo County Parks reports solid numbers for this summer. It said it still has a good amount of camping reservations for all its lakes, despite low water levels.

Egli said, "We have a lot of, I think very faithful people that come that come here."

However, Egli said business has been down for the past two years.

"It's very dramatic, I mean, and you know, when you're running a business like this, there's definite impact to the business side of things," said Egli.

Karwath said he had heard about families cancelling trips because of the drought.

Karwath said, "I think it absolutely impacts their decision to come to California or vacation, whether it's the parks like Yosemite, or also just KOA's or whatever they're doing in the mountains and the camping areas."

Egli said they are booked for this upcoming holiday weekend, but once it passes, they may have to go back to their old adage, "Pray for rain!"

Just to give you an idea of the water levels at other lakes around the Central Coast. As of Wednesday, July 2, Lake Lopez was at 51.2% capacity, Lake Nacimiento was at 19%, Lake Cachuma was at 34.8%, and Lake San Antonio is at an alarming 4% capacity.

Cal Fire said visitors at KOA Kampgrounds at Santa Margarita Lake can still have campfires, as of now.

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