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Central Coast drought level improves, lake levels increase

lake naci.jpg
Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 19:55:02-05

All of California remains in some level of drought but conditions improved dramatically in the two most severe drought categories.

Our recent rain is making a dent in the drought in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Lake Nacimiento is up 34 feet since a series of early Winter storms hit our area.

The multiple days of rain and snow are helping improve conditions all over drought-stricken California. Just last week, most of the state was in the two most severe drought categories. But this week, most of it was downgraded.

“There are waterfalls that we haven't seen before in a long time and the animals are happy and we're happy back there,” said Gigi Salazar who lives in the narrows where Lake Nacimiento starts. “Right now, the water is running. It's 60 feet across. It was bone dry as of a month ago.”

The lake was sitting at 9% at the end of November and now this week it’s roughly 30%.

Lake Nacimiento Resort also shared these photos with KSBY comparing the levels at the vista point view from November to December and the admin office view from mid-December to New Year’s Eve.

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“It's definitely deeper around the edges,” said Michael Schubert of Paso Robles. “Pretty murky from the rains and from the carryover from the washout from the mountains and things like that.”

Looking at some of our other reservoirs, Lopez Lake is a little more than 30% capacity and Santa Margarita Lake is at nearly 63%.

The majority of the Central Coast is now downgraded from extreme to severe drought conditions while the far interior valleys are downgraded from exceptional to extreme.

The month of December made a big difference in drought conditions with locals encouraged this could be a preview of what’s to come with inches and inches of rain.

“The first major storm we got 13. The second atmospheric river we had 10 and Christmas weekend we got 8,” Salazar explained.

“Hopefully, we still get some more rains coming just a little at a time,” Schubert concluded.