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Lake Level


Guide to how various lake elevations affect the Lake and recreation


Prior to completion of the Lake Elsinore Management Project in the mid nineties, Lake Elsinore has had a history of flooding and drying. The table below explains how various lake elevations historically affect the Lake, and how an ongoing visionary effort to stabilize the Lake and improve water quality has been implemented.

The Lake elevations below are expressed in feet above mean sea level. Click here to view the current lake level.  


1,263.3 feet
Lake view from lookout

 As a result of the Lake Elsinore Management Project, this elevation is the projected maximum lake level under conditions described as the "100 year flood event."



1,262 feet Back to Top

Lake Elsinore Management Plan diagram


At this elevation, the San Jacinto River inflow to the Inlet Channel begins to spill at the overflow weir (near Diamond Stadium) into the back basin flood plain. By the time a discharge into the back basin would occur, the Lake would have been discharging steadily into the outflow channel which drains into the Temescal Wash.
1,255 feet Back to Top

Outflow Channel at elevation 1255 msl


The Lake begins to discharge through the outflow channel (which is located downtown along Spring Street), where it eventually reaches the Temescal Wash, a tributary of the Santa Ana River Basin. No permanent development (including fences) are permitted below this elevation.
1,240 feet Back to Top

Improved water quality benefits Lake recreation


Under the Lake Elsinore Management Project, this is the optimum elevation for a managed lake. This is also the minimum lake elevation goal under a comprehensive supplemental water agreement between Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the City. Under this agreement, supplemental water supply from a variety of sources, including recycled water, ground water or imported water, may be added to the Lake. Both the City and EVMWD contribute $650,000 annually to a supplemental water fund that was established exclusively for Lake related uses.
1,223 feet Back to Top
The lake goes dry circa 1950s

The Lake bottoms out between 1,218 and 1,223 mean sea level. The last time the lake completely dried was in 1954 through the early '60s. It was the Lake's cycle of flooding and drying that filled Lake Elsinore's civic leaders with the resolve to pursue an ambitious plan to stabilize the Lake. Constructed at a cost of $39.6 million dollars in Federal grant and loans through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Lake Elsinore Management Project was a dream realized in 1995, under the auspices of EVMWD and the Lake Elsinore Management Authority, which included the City of Lake Elsinore.