News stories about the Governor's actions to deal with the water shortage emphasize how low the snowpack is this year. But while some of the water used in California comes from melting snow, more comes from rain stored in reservoirs, and none of the stories I saw gave figures for either the reservoirs or the total. Being of a suspicious nature, it occurred to me that if snowpack went down and reservoirs went up, people who wanted to make a point of the water shortage would be likely to emphasize the first and ignore the second. That would include both people trying to encourage reductions in consumption in California and people trying to use the California drought to promote concern with climate change more generally.
I have not yet found a figure for the change in the total amount of water in reservoirs—readers who have are welcome to point me at it. But I did find charts showing the individual reservoirs. Lake Shasta, the largest, is up substantially. Of the others, some are up, some down. My guess is that the total is up a little, although probably not by enough to balance the reduction in snow pack, but with only bar charts to go on it's hard to be sure.
Here are the charts: