Do other reservoirs make similar releases?

  • Yes. The Nacimiento Reservoir, operated by the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, for reasons similar to Lopez, releases a minimum of 60 cubic feet per second into the Nacimiento River, even during winter months. These minimum releases are a requirement of the Federal Endangered Species Act. In summer, when irrigation demands in the Salinas Valley increase, the releases increase substantially.
  • The Salinas Reservoir (Santa Margarita Lake), operated by the County of San Luis Obispo, is allowed to divert water to storage only when the Salinas River is flowing on the surface between the Dam and the confluence of the Salinas and Nacimiento Rivers, a distance of about 40 miles. This requirement is part of the water rights permit issued for the building of the dam in the 1940’s and is intended to protect both downstream water rights and fish populations in the river.

Show All Answers

1. Why is water being released from Lopez Dam?
2. How much water is released downstream from Lopez Dam?
3. Is there a plan to reduce releases if the water gets very low in the reservoir?
4. Do other reservoirs make similar releases?