Crater Lake Water Level “Down’, But Concern Is Slight – March 14, 1977

Crater Lake Water Level “Down’, But Concern Is Slight

Klamath Falls Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
March 14, 1977

The water level of Crater Lake has dropped slightly because of the drought but National Park Service officials aren’t worried.

There’s just simply too much water in the lake for there to be much concern about the current drought conditions, says Crater Lake National Park Supt. Frank Betts.

Betts says the 1,932-foot-deep lake holds a “cubic mile” of water. He’s not sure how to interpret that into terms the layman can relate to, but it’s “a lot,” he says.

The superintendent said this morning he visited the shoreline of the lake on Jan. 28 and found that the water level has dropped 36 inches from the highest point last summer.

Crater Lake is fed by rain and snow, meaning that if the the drought continues, the lake will be somewhat lower next summer, Betts said. But he said the lake has been lower in the past and Park officials are not worried.

Betts said a drop in the water level because of the drought is a natural phenomenon. He said the Park Service feels boat trips and viewing of the lake during the summer season will not be affected.

Fifty-eight inches of snow were on the ground at the national park this morning, about half the normal snowpack for this time of year.

Betts said the Park Service has been monitoring Annie Spring, the water supply for facilities at the park.

He said park officials feel it might take two years of continuing drought conditions to impact the water supply. But he added that the Park Service has developed contingency plans in the event there is a water shortage later this year.

Betts said the park would probably lay a temporary water line from the lake to Rim Village and pump water into the system.

Because of the huge amount of water in the lake, he said, there would be virtually no impact on the lake level. He said it would be “just a drop in the bathtub.”