Lake Shasta is facing its worst season in 44 years. Here's what that means for those who rely on it.

Record Searchlight

Lake Shasta this summer is facing possibly its lowest level in at least 44 years, and that could be bad news for the people who rely on it for drinking and irrigation water, as well as endangered salmon that depend on it to survive.

Dam operators have to go all the way back to 1977 to compare how bad this year’s water situation is shaping up to be, said Don Bader, area manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the dam.

“It's dry. It's second worst, so far. It's probably going to exceed ’77. But the kicker is in ’77 we didn't have all the requirements that we have now,” Bader said.