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Official April 1 Mono Lake level: 6381.86 feet

April 2nd, 2018 by Arya, Communications Director
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Technically, we did it on March 31, but for all intents and purposes, it’s the April 1 official joint reading of Mono Lake’s level with Mono Lake Committee and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) staff together. This reading on this day is particularly important because the number recorded translates into how much water DWP is allowed to divert from Mono Basin streams over the course of the coming year.

Mono Lake Committee and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power staff walking down to the lake shore for the annual joint lake level reading. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The careful observation is made and cross-checked before being agreed upon. The current lake level of 6381.86 feet means DWP can divert up to 16,000 acre-feet of water this year. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Happy New Water Year from Robbie, Lisa, and Geoff of the Mono Lake Committee and Paul, Jennifer, and Steve of DWP! Photo by Bartshe Miller.

It is written in California State Water Resources Control Board Decision 1631 this way: “If the water level of Mono Lake is at or above 6,380 feet and below 6,391 feet then Licensee [DWP] may divert up to 16,000 acre-feet of water per year under the terms of this license.” A lake level of 6381.86 feet means DWP can divert up to 16,000 acre-feet of water this year.

There are snow surveys, runoff forecasts, and atmospheric rivers in the offing, so stay tuned for more water year excitement.

For reference:

  • The State Water Board mandated lake level to protect Mono Lake is 6392 feet above sea level.
  • The lake level rise from April 1, 2018 needed to achieve the mandated level is 10.14 feet.
  • The lake level last year (April 1, 2017) was 6378.3 feet.

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