Salinas River
Salinas River

Salinas River Flowing “Live Stream”

Author: Public Works
Date: 12/28/2021 4:17:28 PM

On Saturday, December 25, 2021, at 11:47 a.m., the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works (County) confirmed the Salinas River was flowing a “Live Stream” from the Salinas Reservoir Dam (Santa Margarita Lake) to the Nacimiento River junction, north of the San Luis Obispo County line.

The Salinas Reservoir serves as a primary water supply source for the City of San Luis Obispo. Under the provisions of the 1973 “Live Stream” ruling by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), because the rain has created a natural “Live Stream” water flow in the Salinas River, water can now be stored in the Salinas Reservoir. According to the Supervising Water Systems Worker, Nick Johnson, “We have witnessed over 8 inches of rainfall at the Salinas Dam so far for the month of December. With a live stream happening so early and more rain in the forecast, we may see a large increase of water storage in the Salinas Reservoir.” Please see map for location.

When the “Live Stream” no longer exists, the County will resume releasing water from the reservoir to the Salinas River, which is common practice under the 1973 SWRCB “Live Stream” ruling. The water currently flowing in the river is due to rainfall and not releases from the reservoir.

For questions regarding the Salinas River “Live Stream”, please contact Public Works Utilities Division Program Manager, Laura Holder (805) 781-5135.