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Lake Tahoe clarity rebounds from all-time low

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Posted at 12:42 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 15:42:34-04

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Lake Tahoe's clarity rebounded last year from its worst level in a half century of record-keeping as weather and streamflow returned to more normal conditions.

Scientists at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center say the dinner plate-sized disc used to measure clarity was visible at an average depth of 70.9 feet (21.6 meters) in 2018. That's 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) better than the year before.

The new clarity measurement is in line with the five-year average of 70.3 feet (21.4 meters), which is an increase of nearly a foot (30 centimeters) from the previous five-year running average at the alpine lake that straddles the California-Nevada line.

Scientists hope efforts to combat threats to lake clarity posed by development and climate change will eventually return the lake to its historic clarity level in excess of 100 feet (30.5 meters).