In fall of 2017, Southern Santa Barbara County is among the few remaining areas of California still in drought. Lake Cachuma managed to reach 50% capacity last winter, but downstream water rights releases that began in August and will continue through October or even November are expected to leave the lake at 40% capacity. The groundwater basin is approaching historic lows, and drought conditions continue to grip the region. The Goleta Valley is now in its sixth year of the most severe drought on record.
While lake levels are higher than they have been in several years, they are still below normal conditions. Until we receive another “normal” or above average year of rainfall, conservation remains critical. As we head into the winter months, the community will be eagerly waiting to see if this next year will bring much needed rains.
Stage III drought restrictions remain in place. For a full list of restrictions, including watering times and days, click here.
For more information on the impacts and challenges associated with the prolonged drought, click here.