January 17, 2020Lake Oroville Community UpdateDWR Completes Spillway-Release Siren Testing at Oroville Dam’s Main Spillway
On Wednesday, January 15, DWR completed its first scheduled testing of new spillway-release sirens near the Oroville Dam’s main spillway. The spillway-release sirens are not used to alert the community of an emergency. They indicate to nearby employees and visitors that releases down Oroville Dam’s main spillway are about to begin, which can cause water levels in the Diversion Pool to rise. Moving forward, the spillway-release sirens will be tested monthly.
DWR Installation of New Lighting on Main Spillway Is Successfully Completed
Oroville residents may have seen Oroville Dam’s main spillway lit up at night this week for the continuous 72-hour testing period required by the manufacturer. The lights are now fully functioning and will be used intermittently based on operational needs and any future testing requirements.
Oroville Field Division Successfully Removes over 20 Acres of Debris from Lake Oroville
Oroville Field Division (OFD) maintenance crews successfully completed a controlled burn project in a remote cove on the Feather River’s South Fork arm of Lake Oroville this week. Over 20 acres of logs, branches and other floating debris collected this past spring from the reservoir was gathered into small piles for burning. The effort to collect, transport and dispose of floating debris from the 15,810-acre reservoir (when full) is a yearly effort for OFD crews.
Current Lake Operations
The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 794 feet and storage is about 2.1 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between approximately 2,745 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 4,420 cfs over the past week.
Cloudy conditions are expected through the weekend with continued cloudy conditions and a chance of rain and snow Monday through Wednesday during the week of January 20. Currently, in the Northern Sierra Basin rainfall is below average, at 61 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 77 percent of normal for this time of year.
Water is being released from Lake Oroville at a rate of about 2,500 cfs. Water from the reservoir is being used locally for rice stubble decomposition and to support waterfowl habitat and is also being used to meet Feather River flow and environmental requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Releases to the Feather River are 2,000 cfs, with about 800 cfs flowing through the City of Oroville and 1,200 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet. A slight reduction of total releases to Feather River, below the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet, are projected during the week of January 20 for conservation purposes.
All data as of midnight 1/16/20
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