Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Millerton Lake: drought comparison

The effects of California’s drought are noticeable everywhere, but not more than in this mouseover image of the historic Millerton Courthouse as it sits atop a bluff overlooking Millerton Lake. In the first image, taken by my former colleague Darrell Wong, the water level is seen at a high point in 2009. In the mouseover image, which I took today, the lake level isn’t even visible. The dryness of the hills and hazy skies are also obvious.

The capacity of the lake is 520,500 acre feet. Today, the level of water is at 270,284 acre feet or 51.9 percent of capacity.

Once again, here’s hoping for a big rain year this next season.For another look at the lack of water in Millerton Lake, here’s a wide view:
Millerton low lake level

Responses to "Millerton Lake: drought comparison"

Walt says:

It the first image?? Is the editor asleep??

Russell Allen says:

Thank you so much for bringing more attention. Besides working with the Red Cross I have been working and studying the water crisis for some time for some time. I will be holding a power point presentation as to why a good rain season will not help the crisis. If your interested or have any questions please let me know. Again, thanks for your help in raiseing awareness!

Noelle Spencer says:

Thanks for showing the difference (comparison). This is a very scary situation that we’re in, and I don’t think a lot of people in my area are taking it as seriously as they should. My neighbors are still watering excessively, and the water just gushes down the gutters. :-(

sara says:

Report water wasters and they can be warned or fined as needed.

Doug says:

Millerton first and foremost was designed to do exactly this up and down .Anything else not related to agriculture is not the major purpose for the dam being built . The fish and recreation is all secondary and lower stuff on the scale of purpose . They have known since the early 80′s that more water infrastructure should be built but like the current situation we are in politically means more delays and denials and work from crisis to crisis with band aid patches along way with no real solution .

Pk says:

So it makes SO much sense to build a Pharmacy School (and supporting infrastructure ) up there!

JJJJ says:

I hope theyre taking this opportunity to repave all the boat ramps

Frank Brock says:

This is what info I found about this “lake”. Being as the dam flooded the current lake bed in 1942 -the site of the town of Millerton, the first county seat of Fresno County.
So is this Drought related? OR what has happened from it’s intended use as it was planned for…?
Millerton Lake is an artificial lake near the town of Friant about 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown Fresno. The reservoir was created by the construction of Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River which with the lake serves as much of the county line between Fresno County to the south and Madera County to the north.

Part of the Central Valley Project, the dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation and was completed in 1942. The lake stores water for irrigation, which is distributed by the Madera and Friant-Kern Canals to the San Joaquin Valley. It has a capacity of 520,528 acre·ft (642,062 dam3).

Secondary uses include flood control and recreation, including swimming, fishing, water skiing and camping. A 25 MW hydroelectric plant operated by the Friant Power Authority produces electricity from large releases and two smaller plants use water released for a fish hatchery and to maintain minimum-flow in the river.

Prior to the construction of Friant Dam, the current lake bed was the site of the town of Millerton, the first county seat of Fresno County.

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