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Reservoir Storage

Large reservoirs in Virginia support a wide variety of uses that include water supply storage, electric power generation, and flow augmentation to protect water quality. Water supply reservoirs are evaluated based on their estimated number of days of available usable storage.

  • Normal conditions:  greater than 120 days of usable storage
  • Watch conditions:  90 to 120 days of usable storage
  • Warning conditions:  60 to 90 days of usable storage
  • Emergency conditions:  less than 60 days of remaining usable storage

Water levels at the large multi-purpose reservoirs listed below are also evaluated as initial indicators.

Status normal drought watch drough warning drought emergency
Smith Mountain Lake >793 feet msl 793 to 791.5 feet msl 791.5 to 790 feet msl <790 feet msl
Lake Moomaw >1565 Feet msl 1565 to 1562.5 feet msl 1562.5 to 1560 feet msl <1560 feet msl
Lake Anna >248 feet msl 248 to 246 feet msl 246 to 244 feet msl <244 feet msl
Kerr Reservoir <3 feet below the guide curve 3 to 6 feet below the guide curve >6 feet below the guide curve <288 feet msl

msl = mean sea level


Water supply reservoirs used to monitor drought conditions within each drought evaluation region are listed below.  This indicator is not used in the Eastern Shore and New River drought evaluation regions, where no water supply reservoirs are present.


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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