Folsom Lake's water level is 11 percent lower than it was this time last year.
FOLSOM, CA - With docks perched on sand and vehicles parked where buoys once floated, anyone heading out to Folsom Lake can see right away that the water level is low.
"We're getting dangerously low," said a fisherman who was out at the Lake Tuesday.
The reservoir, which is used for municipal and industrial purposes, is 11 percent lower than is was this time last year, according to the Department of Reclamation.
"Last year we were at about 42 percent of capacity, this time of year; this year we are at about 33 percent in Folsom," Department of Reclamation's Lewis Moore said.
Moore said it's not just Folsom where water levels are low. because of back-to-back below average annual precipitation amounts, all of the region's reservoirs have dropped from 57 percent capacity last year down to 41 percent this year.
At the the National Weather Service in Sacramento, meteorologists tracked the latest weather models, hoping to spot a low pressure system carrying some moisture, but all they can see for the next seven is dry conditions.
So far this October, no measurable precipitation has fallen from Redding, south to Modesto; something that has only been recorded 10 times since 1888, according to the National Weather Service.
"It's significant," meteorologist Bill Rash said.
So how does a dry spell like this affect the upcoming winter season? History shows it could go both ways.
"Half of the year,s we end up wet, half the years we end up dry," Rash explained. "So there's no real signal, but that does at least tell us that there is still some hope, that we could end the year wet."
While there is no threat of a water supply shortage, conservation efforts are being made to manage and recycle what's available. But if the region doesn't get some rainfall soon, the reservoirs could be in trouble.
"We absolutely live and die by what's available to us," Moore said. "We definitely are hoping for a cold wet winter because that not only helps us in the near term, but in the summers coming."