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Ruth Lake 35 percent less full than usual

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY- The North Coast is still dry. At Ruth Lake, the location of a major water supply, officials say levels are below normal.

Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District uses Ruth Lake and Mad River to serve its seven municipalities.  They are Eureka, Arcata, Blue Lake, Glendale, Fieldbrook, McKinleyville, and the greater Humboldt area.  At this time, Ruth Lake is 35 percent less full than normal, at 55 percent.

"Normally when you drive past you can see all of the different docks and stuff floating on the surface of the water.  At this point, they're all down the edge of the beach," said Jackelyn Jackson, who lives in Ruth.

Officials say the lake is getting lower at a rate of almost a twentieth of an inch per day.

Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District officials say that usually this time of year the level of the lake is within a few feet of the spillway of R.W. Matthews Dam.  But now, the lake is currently about 25 feet lower than the spillway.

Officials say there is enough water in Ruth Lake to supply the seven municipalities for more than a year.  And while there is no mandatory water conservation action at this time, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District officials still ask you to cut back on water usage.

"Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it.  Maybe a slightly shorter shower.  Make sure your laundry is full before you run it," said Carol Rische, the General Manager of Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District.

While water officials say a couple significant storms could still fill Ruth Lake, but a mandatory conservation action could be announced this spring if rainfall doesn't come.

"We're going to take a very close look at where we are, consider 'Do we get any of this late season re-charge like we typically get?' and then forecast out the rest of the summer, even forecast out the beginning of next year to make that determination," said Rische.

Until then, and always, officials say you should use your water efficiently and wisely.

“Save Our Water” is a statewide campaign which provides ideas, techniques and information about conserving water.

To learn more, visit http://saveourh20.org/