Elevated water levels in California’s Bay Area are expected to reach their highest levels in decades and could bring significant disruptions to flights and other activities for the next week.
The latest report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the state’s elevated level is 2,200 feet above the long-term average, which is the highest level recorded since 1950.
That would be equivalent to the elevation of a large football field, according to USGS, which said the new level is likely to cause significant disruption to daily life in areas including agriculture, recreation, and transportation.
The water level in the San Francisco Bay area could reach 2,250 feet, USGS said.
It is currently at a level of 1,600 feet.
California’s water levels have risen over the past few decades as an agricultural industry and population growth has pushed up the area’s groundwater levels.
In addition to the Bay Area, the situation in Washington State is likely worse than that in California because of the high elevation of the Columbia River and the heavy precipitation it provides.
The area has been in the spotlight recently after residents and some state lawmakers raised concerns about the impacts of elevated water levels, especially in the Northwest.
The state’s water level is expected to rise to the highest point in its history in the coming week, according the USGS report.
The agency said water levels could exceed the 1,700-foot threshold.
A high water level will trigger a flood warning and water restrictions for the first time in decades in parts of the Pacific Northwest and western states, USG said.
Some people will be impacted by the change in water levels and travel restrictions.