Lake in Rockville Hills Regional Park dries up – CBS Sacramento
FAIRFIELD (CBS13) – A natural lake in Rockville Hills Regional Park is drying up, forcing park officials to get creative if they want wildlife to stick around during the summer months.
Almost half a century ago, this lake in Rockville Hills Regional Park dried up.
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“The lake isn’t so much a lake,” said Angel Sanchez, a mountain biker who notices the lake has stepped back in time.
“It’s very dry, I’m telling you,” he said.
So our CBS13 team went to the park to see for ourselves.
At a mile and a half we saw the same – an empty lake fenced in and surrounded by brown grass and dry hills
“This is the driest year since 1976-77,” said Jay Lund, professor of environmental engineering at UC Davis.
“This dry year comes on top of last year, which was also dry, which makes matters worse,” Lund said.
The Town of Fairfield tells CBS13 that the lake is natural and relies solely on rainwater and runoff to fill up.
“They may not have infrastructure pipelines that can get water to this lake,” Lund said.
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This means that without a rainy season and heavy rains, there will be no lake.
If there is no water, how will the wildlife survive in the park?
“Some of the native wildlife will have the capacity to survive droughts,” Lund said.
But what about animals that can’t?
“You might find that park officials will put in water basins instead of a replacement drinker,” he said.
The Town of Fairfield provided waterers for the park’s wildlife – a small box with a ramp that could hold about eight gallons of water for animals, large and small, to drink.
“We have a certain taste for wildlife. We’re going to have to find ways to help them stick around during droughts. “
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Park officials have fenced off the lake in order to prevent animals and humans from walking on the mud where forms of wild animals may have homes. Authorities are asking visitors to be careful around the lake.