Severe Drought Slowly Dries Up California Lake

2 mins read

California is experiencing an extreme drought that has ravaged local lakes, most notably Big Bear Lake, which residents are now seeing as shrinking slowly every day.

Water officials say another dry winter could result in the lake reaching historically low levels of water by fall. Many residents who live or work in the area are witnessing the effects of the severely warm weather on the reservoir.

Extremely Hot Weather

“It does get a little discouraging how low we are,” Pleasure Point Marina Operations Manager Cliff Fowler said. He said the lake’s water level has dropped 13.5 below capacity due to the recent lack of rain and snow last winter. This has resulted in boat docks being pushed farther and farther into the lake if they want to avoid being on land.

“We had to push everything out roughly 75 feet, just to ensure we have enough water to operate out pontoon rentals and our slip owners and renters,” Fowler said.

The water district said the Big Bear Lake has not seen a full capacity since 2012 where it has since observed varying low water levels that have worried officials.

“It’s not a normal pattern, that’s for sure. We’ve seen a steady decline and for the first time in history we went from full to 15 down, and that was the five years after 2012,” Big Bear Municipal Water District’s Mike Stephenson said.

Since 1964, the water district has been managing Big Bear Lake, where it has observed two instances of low water levels that reached 18 feet below capacity in October of those years. Officials anticipate a similar situation this year as weather factors continue to impact the lake.

“I wish I knew [what’s going on]. Certainly, everybody talks about climate change, global warming, I just look at it and hope for the best. We’re just really praying for those heavy winters, that’s what’s going to bring us back,” Fowler said, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.