Home california drought Photos: Houseboats Crowd Dwindling Lake Oroville in California Drought

Photos: Houseboats Crowd Dwindling Lake Oroville in California Drought

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A marooned boat launch ramp rests along a depleted Lake Oroville in Oroville, California on September 5, 2021. - Lake Oroville is currently at 23% of its capacity and is suffering from extreme levels of drought. Much of California in the western US is currently gripped by excessive heat, severe …
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty

Water levels in California’s Lake Oroville have dipped so low that houseboats are being removed from the water, or crowding into the precious little water that remains in the dam.

Houseboat line Lake Oroville (Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty)

Houseboats sit in a narrow section of water in a depleted Lake Oroville in Oroville, California on September 5, 2021. – Lake Oroville is currently at 23% of its capacity and is suffering from extreme levels of drought. Much of California in the western US is currently gripped by excessive heat, severe drought and a series of massive wildfires. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Houseboats Lake Oroville (Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty)

Houseboats sit on blocks to escape being marooned in a depleted Lake Oroville in Oroville, California on September 5, 2021. – Lake Oroville is currently at 23% of its capacity and is suffering from extreme levels of drought. Much of California in the western US is currently gripped by excessive heat, severe drought and a series of massive wildfires. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Lake Oroville low (Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty)

Houseboats sit in a narrow section of water in a depleted Lake Oroville in Oroville, California on September 5, 2021. – Lake Oroville is currently at 23% of its capacity and is suffering from extreme levels of drought. Much of California in the western US is currently gripped by excessive heat, severe drought and a series of massive wildfires. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

As Breitbart News has previously reported, water levels in the lake behind the Oroville Dam — at 770 feet, the highest in the United States — have fallen so low that the local hydroelectric power plant was forced to shut down for the first time ever earlier this summer.

The lake has receded dramatically before, most notably during the 2011-2017 drought. But copious rainfall and snowfall on the Sierra Nevada mountains over the next two winters filled the lake — so much so that the spillway failed and had to be replaced entirely.

Oroville Dam spillway failure, taken from a flight over the area in March 2017. (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

The lake then filled to normal levels, as seen in the photograph below, taken at Lake Oroville in the winter of 2018-2019:

Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

Lake Oroville in December 2018 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

This year, after two dry winters, and a spring in which the snowmelt seeped into the ground before reaching the reservoir, the lake has dropped to levels not seen since the severe drought of the 1970s, the UK Daily Mail reported on Monday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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