LA eyes Mono Lake water levels near Yosemite National Park

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Los Angeles is eyeing water levels at Mono Lake near Yosemite National Park as it could help its future water supply. (KABC)

There's no place in California quite like Mono Lake as the salt-water body just east of Yosemite National Park features other-worldly rock formations.

After being depleted by the drought, Mono Lake has started filling up again, which means great news for the lake's own eco-system and the city of Los Angeles.

A visible difference can be spotted at Mono Lake following record-low water levels thanks in part to the recent surge in rain and snow this winter.

MORE: Drought better, but SoCal still needs to conserve water, officials say

"If we continue on the same trajectory for this winter, we could be looking at the wettest winter on record," Bartshe Miller with the Mono Lake Committee said. "We haven't seen snow like this in six years."

The water level at Mono Lake has gone up about half-a-foot in the past month, and that may not seem like much, but the lake's shoreline is close to 40-miles long. That's welcomed news to L.A.

MORE: Before and after images illustrate California's drought recovery

"The sooner it gets up to its management level, the more water they can take," Miller explained.

"I am elated. I've been in charge of the aqueduct for five years now, and this is the first year that I have a smile on my face because of the snowpack," James Yannotta with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said.

While Yannotta said Mono Lake provides less than one percent of L.A.'s water, if the water level rises another 2.5 feet to the magic elevation number of 6,380, L.A. will be able to take almost four times as much water from Mono Lake than currently allowed.

MORE: More than 40 percent of California out of drought, officials say

"If we have good years, hopefully within a couple years or so we might be able to hit that 6,380," Yannotta said.

Related Topics:
weatherwaterwater conservationdroughtrainyosemiteyosemite national parksnowCentral California
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