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Reclamation to Increase Releases into the Lower American River for Storage Management
2/23/2016
Credit:
Bureau of Reclaimation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation is preparing to increase releases below Nimbus Dam into the lower American River from 3,000 cubic feet per second to around 7,200 cfs to create space in Folsom Reservoir for projected runoff from the Sierra. Current storage in the reservoir is 131 percent of the 15-year average for late February. Should inflows into the reservoir continue at current levels or increase, additional releases may be required. The current snowpack in the central Sierra is more than four times greater than at this time last year.

The releases will be increased starting Monday, February 22, at 5 p.m. by 500 cfs. Incremental increases will continue hourly through Tuesday, February 23, at 1 a.m., when flows reach 7,200 cfs. After two days at this rate, flows will be gradually ramped down as we continue to monitor and manage storage in the reservoir. Folsom Reservoir, located 26 miles northeast of Sacramento, provides water for people, fish and wildlife, hydropower, and environmental and salinity-control requirements in the Bay-Delta.

People recreating in or along the lower American River downstream of Folsom Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers can expect river levels to increase and should take appropriate safety precautions.

Midnight Reservoir Elevation and Flows for Folsom may be found at Reclamation’s Central Valley Operations Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo/. Current American River conditions may be found at the Department of Water Resources’ California Data Exchange Center website at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/river/americanStages.html.