Jan 10, 2016
Today my husband and I were out in the Campo area and we stopped by Lake Morena (a local water reservoir located in east county) to see how she is faring with the drought. This reservoir is fed only by rainfall and runoff, there is no pumped water supply. I had not been to this lake for maybe 7 or 8 years, and at that time the water level was down and the dock was on dry land.
What we found today was nothing short of devastating. What was once a mighty lake teeming with fish, campers, fishermen, and boats is now not much more than a puddle. Certainly still beautiful, it was incredibly sad to see the water level so incredibly low. (You can see the dam in the distance in the photo below)
We all read and hear on the news about the drought, but this really hits home. When full, the lake reaches depths of 157 feet, but as of July 2014 was around 83 feet
According to sdfish.com, the water level dropped an additional 3 1/2 feet between September 2014 and August 2015, reflective of the continual drop in water levels. The area in the photo below was originally under water.
A report from KPBS in March of 2014 indicated the lake was only at 4% of its capacity. This is a result of the drought, and the need to use the stored water in this reservoir to supply the residents of SD County. As a result the boat launches are closed, and will remain closed for an undetermined period of time. The full story can be read at the link below:
Today, we saw no campers, but the cold and wet weather of late may well have been a contributing factor.
It is obvious in some of the photos that provisions were made to continue to use the lake over the years as the water levels dropped. Sadly, many of these photos were taken from locations that were under water just 5 or 10 years ago. I found the original boat launch, and what appeared to be several make shift boat launches as the water levels dropped. All of them are on dry land now. We did find this one lone dock out there for the fishermen to use. We also saw two people fishing, and a few enjoying the rural beauty of this place.
The point is not to make you sad. The point is that the drought is far from over, despite our recent rains and efforts to save water. Our average rainfall in San Diego is approximately 11″ per year (depending on exact location), and we have been under that average for 7 of the last 10 years. Here is hoping for some good rainfall in 2016 and the coming years, and a return of water levels to beautiful Lake Morena!