Before and after: See how much SLO County lake levels have risen

Laguna Lake on Jan. 10, 2017.
Laguna Lake on Jan. 10, 2017. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The drought has eased for a large swath of California.

Along the Central Coast, there are plenty of visual examples of just how much water has fallen.

Here are three examples from San Luis Obispo County, beginning with Atascadero Lake.

After several years of below-average rainfall, the lake dried out in 2014. A nonprofit group called Friends of Atascadero Lake helped raise funds for a pipeline to keep the lake from drying out in the future. The project was completed last August. Atascadero averages about 17 inches of water each season. The area has received 14.51 inches so far in 2017, according to Atascadero Mutual Water Co.

These before and after photos show Atascadero Lake, on July 21, 2015, and Jan. 10, 2017

Laguna Lake has dried up before. In August 2014, low water levels resulted in a large fish die-off. But rain in early 2016 — 19 inches of it — refilled the lake to between 6 and 8 feet in some places. Drought conditions caused lake levels to drop again last year before the most recent round of storms.

Laguna Lake on July 21, 2015, and Jan. 10, 2017

Santa Margarita Lake is at 34 percent of its capacity as of Jan. 17. The lake, which was created in 1941 when the Salinas Dam was built, has a capacity of more than 23,000 acre-feet.

Santa Margarita Lake on Dec. 31, 2015, and Jan. 10, 2017

SLO County lakes will get another surge of water as another round of storms is forecast to begin Wednesday.

Melissa Blanton: 805-781-7965, @DowntownMelissa

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