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How San Diego County reservoirs levels look amid California drought

Even if water levels look low at some San Diego reservoirs and lakes, it may not paint the full picture.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Reservoirs throughout the west are showing signs of the drought that really turned severe over the winter. There may be records set by the end of this summer as some reservoirs are down near half capacity already.

But is it all bad news? News 8's Steve Fiorina went in search of answers regarding the status of our San Diego County lakes and reservoirs.

Many reservoirs across California are lower than preferred as we deal with the ongoing drought. In San Diego, so far there are no worries.

Chopper 8 flew over Lake Jennings and Sweetwater Reservoir on Tuesday afternoon; they and all the other bodies of water in the county are where we need them.

"We have more than sufficient water supplies to meet the needs of the region during the drought period," said San Diego County Water Resources Specialist Alexi Schnell. 

Part of the reason is the diversification of supply sources plan that was implemented decades ago. And locals have taken to heart the idea of water conservation.

"[It] absolutely helped and we continue to ask people to conserve water," said Schnell. "That's definitely part of the picture. Water use efficiency is a large part of why we're doing so well here in San Diego."

So as we go fishing or picnic along the shore or run or ride bikes around the lake, there's no need to be alarmed if the water level appears low in places.

"Here at Lake Miramar, we've definitely lost some inches on the bank. A lot of the weeds you can see are coming up. It's kind of discouraging because i know we need more rain around here," said lake visitor Hillary Carlucci.

"[I] see brown reeds in the lake, but the fishing's good," said fisherman Mike Rosell.

But looks can be deceiving. 

"Levels at lakes can often be changed for operational purposes so it's really not significant to the storage we have," said Schnell. 

It's been a dry winter with not much snowpack in the mountains to the north but still we are OK. 

"We're not as reliant on Northern California as other parts of the state so other parts of the state will be more affected by this drought than we are here in San Diego," said Schnell. 

A complete look at state reservoirs will be unveiled on Friday.