SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – Lake Tahoe’s water clarity is at an all-time low, according to a new report released on Wednesday.
The annual report was put together by the Tahoe Environmental Research Center and UC Davis.
According to the report, researchers recorded the lowest annual average level of lake clarity in 2017. Average clarity was only 59.7 feet, researchers say – a 9.5-foot decrease from 2016.
Reasons cited for the decline in Lake Tahoe’s clarity include the state’s historic drought followed by one of the wettest winters on record.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein released a statement following the report.
“This report serves as a stark reminder about the importance of conservation and restoration efforts. Without that progress, the lake would already have been lost,” Sen. Feinstein said.
Sen. Feinstein noted the numbers were actually an outlier in the five-year average of clarity at Lake Tahoe.
Conservation officials from California and Nevada also released a joint statement following the release of the report.
“While annual clarity declines are not unusual, the record decline experienced last year warrants an in-depth review to further understand the causes and impacts, and to help ensure the 2017 decrease is an anomaly, and not a trend,” said California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and Nevada Director of Conservation and Natural Resources Bradley Cowell in a joint statement.
Previously, the lowest average clarity at Lake Tahoe was 64.1-feet recorded in 1997.
Read the full report on Lake Tahoe’s water clarity here.