Lake Concerns (2014)
California faces one of the most severe droughts in its recorded history, and there are no signs that it's letting up. Back in January, Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency and directed state officials to "take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages." He also asked for all Californians to reduce their water usage by at least 20%.
Lake Perris is also doing its part to help conserve water in the midst of this unprecedented drought. While a popular tourist destination, Lake Perris is first-and-foremost a drinking water reservoir. In order to ensure that Southern Californian households will have access to as much of that water as possible, Lake Perris has had to stop irrigating the turf grass areas of the park found in the Day Use and Group Picnic areas. We have also had to prohibit the use of portable swimming pools, slip-and-slides, water slides, etc.
Because of the severe water shortage, water is not flowing into Lake Perris from the State Water Project. The water district has decided to not draw water from Lake Perris until after Labor Day, 2014. After that, depending on demand, the lake may be used to supply drinking water to the people of Southern California. With no water coming in from the State Water Project, and water going out to supply drinking water, we can expect to see a decrease in the lake's water level. The decrease will affect our amenities.
We understand the inconvenience that this will cause, but Californian's must stand together and conserve water in the face of this severe water shortage.
Save Our Water Website
Governor Brown announces emergency drought legislation
Press Enterprise article on the decision to not draw water until Labor Day
California Drought Information and News
A new brochure has been published about the future of the activities available at Lake Perris and is now available in PDF format.
DAM REMEDIATION PROJECT
"In 2005, DWR identified potential seismic safety hazards in the foundation of the dam...While there was no imminent threat to life or property, in the interest of ensuring public safety, DWR lowered the reservoir water level while undertaking the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and designing repairs."
While not a "hole in the dam" as some have reported, there are concerns about the dam's stability in the event of a large earthquake. The water level was lowered below the area of concern in 2005. Because the State wants to bring the lake back to full capacity, the areas of concern must be retrofitted. That is the purpose of the Dam Remediation Project.
Construction on the project will begin in the summer of 2014 and is currently estimated to take about 3 years to complete. Because the construction is limited to the Bernasconi side of the dam, Bernasconi, Big Rock, and much of the southern side of the park/bike trail will be closed starting July 1st, 2014 and remain closed for the entire construction project.
More information regarding the DWR plan for the Perris Dam Project can be found at their website. http://perrisdam.water.ca.gov/ Remember that they can not answer any questions regarding fees and such for the lake.
This is the southern end of Lake Perris by the dam. You can see Bernasconi campground there to the right, but you can also see how deep the water still is here at the lake. You can see that the impact this drawdown has had on the lake and on the activities here at Lake Perris have been minimal.
As you can see, with all this water and all this room, Lake Perris is still very much open for business! Swimming, sailing, kayaking, fishing, boating and personal watercraft use is still happening like normal here at the lake. As summer draws near we are sure that visitors will enjoy the expanded beaches. Lake Perris can be a great place to escape the bustle of the city and return to the natural beauty of southern California to unwind and relax.