Water levels at Lopez Lake have dropped so drastically because of the drought that the sensor recording the elevation is — once again — above water.
The sensor San Luis Obispo County uses to record and monitor Lopez Lake has been above the water level for several days — hovering around 459 feet — meaning the county can’t publish real-time data for the lake on its website, www.slocountywater.org, said Ray Dienzo, engineering supervisor for the water resources technical unit division for San Luis Obispo County public works, on Wednesday.
The sensor had a similar problem last year, Dienzo said, and was lowered to its current spot.
“We thought that would fix the problem, and the rains would arrive,” he said. “Nobody thought it would get this low.”
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But the heralded El Niño rains never arrived, and the lake’s level has continued to drop in the past few months.
Dienzo said the county will be lowering the censor once again this upcoming week with the help of a scuba diver. After that, real-time monitoring of the lake will resume.
In the meantime, daily measurements of the lake’s levels must be done manually. The current lake elevation is at about 455 feet and about 20.5 percent full, according to the site.