Preparing for Dry Days Ahead

Dry foothills near the District's Corona Del Mar Water Treatment Plant.
Dry foothills near the District's Corona Del Mar Water Treatment Plant.

Strategic investments and continued conservation by customers mean the District is well positioned to navigate dry conditions, but conservation remains critical.

California has officially entered another drought and many communities throughout the state are facing dire water supply challenges. Here in the Goleta Valley, even without additional rain, the District is well positioned due to years of strategic investment in a diverse water supply portfolio, as well as the exceptional conservation efforts that customers continue to embrace and demonstrate on a daily basis.

The District’s water supply portfolio consists of the largest entitlement at Lake Cachuma, second largest entitlement in the Central Coast Water Authority’s rights in the State Water Project, largest entitlement in the only adjudicated groundwater basin on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, and recycled water. Having such a diverse portfolio allows the District to strategically draw from different sources under varying conditions, which ultimately enhances reliability during dry periods when availability of one source is reduced either locally or across the state.  Decades of strategic investment continue to benefit and protect the Goleta Valley.

The Governor has asked for a 20% reduction in water use, and the State will be releasing additional water use guidelines in late May.  In the meantime, District customers are using 33% less than during the height of the last drought when restrictions were in place.  Many have installed water wise landscaping, but simple steps like fixing leaks, using a shut-off nozzle on hoses, and adjusting irrigation to match the weather can dramatically reduce use.  The District’s water thrifty customers are among the most frugal in the state.  According to data from the State Water Resources Control Board for calendar year 2021, the average residential District household uses 56 gallons per person per day, a full 39% below the statewide average of 90, and 24% below the Central Coast region average of 73 gallons.

Regardless of what the weather brings, prepare for dry days ahead by learning more about where your water comes from, conservation tips, and the role of water wise landscaping.