Barely a drop of water has fallen from the sky in Big Bear Valley since April. The official rainfall numbers for May and June at the Bear Valley Dam is zero.
It could have been worse if the Valley hadn’t experienced a somewhat decent winter with significant late season snowfall. But now, at least one water agency in Big Bear is monitoring the situation as July isn’t showing any relief in sight.
“We’re monitoring our stream flow below the dam closely,” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the Big Bear Municipal Water District, the agency that oversees recreation and safety on the lake. “We are releasing 1.03 cfs (cubic feet per second) right now. The flow (of Bear Creek) needs to be at 1 cubic feet per second about a mile downstream.”
The MWD is responsible for maintaining the flow of the creek under Order No. 95-4 of the State Water Resources Control Board. Most of the year the release is at 0.33 cfs to keep the stream flow in compliance, Stephenson said.
It’s not a lot of water loss for Big Bear Lake, no more than the typical loss during the winter season, Stephenson said. But lack of rain in the foreseeable future could increase the release numbers. “If we had a couple of storms, the release would shut off,” Stephenson said. Unfortunately, there is no rain in the forecast, he said.
The lake has been used as a source for a couple of small fires recently, but did not have an impact on water level. Lake evaporation has remained steady at about 2 inches per week, typical for a summer season.
For the full story CLICK HERE