Yesterday, city officials joined the LADWP at the Silver Lake Reservoir and opened the valves to start refilling it. The reservoir was drained in late 2015 for the construction of a new water pipeline, and has been empty ever since. In a press release, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell explained where all the water is coming from: “After years of drought, we finally had above average precipitation across California. As a result, the Sierra snowpack is over 200 percent of normal. As the snow melts, the over-abundance of water will come our way via the aqueduct. For this reason, we have a unique opportunity to restore water to the reservoir sooner than anticipated.”
Water is currently filling the smaller, adjacent Ivanhoe Reservoir at a rate of 5,600 gallons per minute. It is expected to start flowing into the Silver Lake Reservoir in about two weeks, and the reservoir should reach a historic level of 440 feet above sea level in about two months. LADWP originally planned to refill the reservoir using groundwater piped from an underwater well, a process that would’ve taken approximately a year—but now, thanks to all that rain, the water will flow in much faster.