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How Santa Margarita Lake looks today compared to a year ago

See Santa Margarita Lake at 70 percent capacity after the storms

Almost a year ago, Santa Margarita Lake was at just 12 percent capacity. Now, after a series of storms that dumped rain across San Luis Obispo County, the lake sits at about 70 percent capacity.
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Almost a year ago, Santa Margarita Lake was at just 12 percent capacity. Now, after a series of storms that dumped rain across San Luis Obispo County, the lake sits at about 70 percent capacity.

The rainiest January in 20 years continues to fill San Luis Obispo County lakes parched by five years of drought.

Santa Margarita Lake, which provides drinking water to the city of San Luis Obispo, has experienced the greatest percent increase, rising from 9.5 percent capacity on Jan. 1 to 72 percent on Jan. 27. That means the lake has more than seven times as much water now as it did on New Year’s Day.

»» Related: SLO County is having its rainiest month in 20 years. Here’s what that means for the drought.

Wherever you look there, the impact has been startling. Here’s a one-year comparison from Dec. 31, 2015, to now, at three locations around the lake.

Thanks to January storms, Lake Nacimiento in northern San Luis Obispo County has gained more than 200,000 acre-feet since December 31, 2016. New footage of Lake Nacimiento was taken on January 24, 2017.

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