For those who aren't familiar with California's weather patterns, the winter rain and snow are what hydrate us through our rainless spring, summer, and fall. The California State Water Project redistributes the water from the wet, northern part of the state to the much drier south via a system of reservoirs, aqueducts, and canals.
When it doesn't rain in the north, or anywhere for that matter, the water stored in our reservoirs gets used up with nothing to replace it. This year, the winter rain and soon to be melting snow are causing many of our reservoirs to overflow, which is mostly a good thing.
In 2006, cracks were found in the dam which means that it can only safely hold approximately 60% of it's intended capacity. For many years this hasn't been too much of a problem because it never rained. This year, it's starting to be an issue.
As of right now, 4,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) of water are being released from the reservoir. The ranch where my boys live is on the Kern River. Here's what that volume of water looks like from the pastures.
While it's frustrating to see so much water being let out of visual storage, the good news is that this water will be allowed to flow out to the Kern River's alluvial fan where it will seep back into the ground to be "banked" as ground water.
Sometimes, when it rains, it pours. Literally.