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OROVILLE, Calif. - The reach of the drought emergency has a shocking look at as Lake Oroville drains to dirt.
With a surface area of just over 15,000 acres – Lake Oroville provides water and electricity and impacts the local economy as recreation is big on this lake.
California’s 14th largest lake and the second-largest reservoir is now facing the worst crisis in its 52-year history.
27 million people depend on water from here and as of August 19, the lake sits at 633ft, that's below the record set in 1977.
The DWR works with the Bureau of Reclamation to decide how much water is released daily and it's become a delicate process as the levels continue to drop.
A rainy season is needed, more rain than the rainiest years in recent history in 2017 and 2019 combined in order to fill the lake back to capacity.
The DWR says it’s trying to conserve as much water in Lake Oroville as possible as it takes it for the state water project.