Monday, January 19, 2009


These photos are of Folsom Lake, California. Its a reservoir the supplies
hydropower, flood control, a fish habitat and is a source of water for municipal users.
As you can see, the Lake leval is down. Its actually only half full and getting less every day.
Usually the leval is at 443,000 acre-feet of water and 3 days ago the leval was only at 217,000 acre-feet. One acre-foot of water is about 326,000 gallons.

The snow pack from the Sierra Nevada Mountains feeds the American River which flows into the Lake.
Our snowpack so far has been so light that the prospects for resolving the drought seem very slim.

The Lake is so low that many historic remnants of homestead sites normally underwater are now boat hazards.
When Folsom Lake was created in 1955 a former gold rush town called Mormon Island was flooded. The town dwindled from a booming camp to just a few residents as the prospects of gold faded. Now old foundations and artifacts are appearing . The area is now a California State Park.
The Lake usually is up to where the darker shadows can be seen in these pictures. Sunny California is wonderful but we really need rain and a good dense snow pack soon.
Enlarge the pictures to see the detail.
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Kate said...


The pics are great, but scary!

Water is an imprtant issue, isn't it? We are also very dry here in New Mexico.


Olivier said...

ce grand lac est vraiment magnifique.

This lake is truly beautiful.

Rupert StClair Photography said...

I like to think of it like this: Once there was a site, rich in natual resources, but after word got out, the land was stripped of golden nuggets to leave a near ghost town behind. Along came the US government and a need for large scale water storage, and flooded the town. Now the very thing that made the landscape loose it's special properites has now replaced it provide a man-made point of interest.

Nice pictures anyway!

Laurie said...

We suffered through a couple of years of drought where our reservoirs were perilously low...followed by some serious flooding...Now the last couple of years we've been in a much wetter pattern...not flooding, but a lot wetter than I can remember. These things seem to follow cycles.

I hope the drought you are dealing with resolves soon. It is not pleasant when you are suffering through it.

It is kind of creepy and strange to think of this submerged civilization being revealed. We have some reservoirs that were formed in a similar manner and the stories of what lies beneath the surface are now legendary.

Wonderful documentary photos.

lavenderlady said...

Weather is a fickle friend. Kind of controls our life somedays.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Stumbled across your blog through Smitten Image...and I had to comment. I grew up not too far from Folsom Lake and it makes me homesick to see your photos. Yes, the lake is very parents (who still live in the area) are praying for rain.

magiceye said...

gorgeous images

Shammickite said...

This is happening in many parts of the world. We are not leaving much of a legacy for our grandchildren.

Big big day in the USA today.
Good luck to your new president.... and may the people (and the media!) employ caution, understanding and patience cos the current mess will take more than a few weeks to clear up!
Hooray for Mr Obama.
And hooray for all the people who voted for him.

Kansas Bob said...

That first pic is simply magnificent! I am looking at buying a new camera.. any recommendations?

Linda G. said...

Interesting history of Folsom Lake..all those underwater farms..
I remember that, years ago climatologists were predicting a forty year drought for the southwest. I keep thinking...wasn't that about forty years ago? Maybe we'll move into a wetter cycle soon..

Cimba7200 said...

I found your article here and photos very interesting Sue. Thanks. I hope your drought siuation soon improves. - Dave

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are so pretty!

Ruth said...

Beautiful photos, but that's sad. What lies ahead for the world in terms of water? It's a much bigger deal than most of us consider.

Hilary said...

That's such a shame, really. I hope it resolves soon. The colours in that first photo are amazing.

anoop said...


Moi said...

what a beautiful place, Sue. I hope the rains/snow come sooner than later and hope the draught situation gets resolved. We saw this year after year in South west Florida......

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