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Federal Funding to Aid Lake Cachuma
updated: Aug 14, 2014, 10:44 AM

Source: Press Secretary For Lois Capps

Today, Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) announced that the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board (COMB) received $300,000 from the Bureau of Reclamation for an emergency drought relief project.

The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board will use the funding to support its effort to pump water from Lake Cachuma into the North Portal Intake Structure and maintain water flow to the South Coast communities of Santa Barbara County. Due to three years of extreme drought conditions, water is expected to drop below the intake structure level this fall. Lake Cachuma provides more than 80 percent of the water supply to more than 200,000 people in Santa Barbara County.

The funding comes under the 1995 Drought Act, which allows the Bureau of Reclamation to undertake activities that will minimize or mitigate drought damages or losses. The project was one of two to receive funds this week from the Bureau of Reclamation.

"This drought crisis is the most urgent problem facing our state and the Central Coast, and it requires a collaborative effort by many," Capps said. "I am glad to hear that Lake Cachuma received this federal support, and I will continue to work with federal agencies to ensure farmers, businesses, consumers, and municipalities have the resources they need to get through these difficult times."

"The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board (COMB) is grateful for this timely federal grant for our critical project," said Lauren Hansen, President of the COMB Board. "As the drought continues, COMB's Emergency Pumping Facility will make possible the uninterrupted, reliable delivery of water from Lake Cachuma to the 200,000 residents of the South Coast. The grant funds being made available will help defray a portion of the project cost that is being borne by the South Coast water agencies that are members of COMB: Goleta Water District, City of Santa Barbara, Montecito Water District and Carpinteria Valley Water District."

"Ensuring people have access to water across the 17 western states has been fundamental to Reclamation's mission since 1902," said Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley. "This emergency funding will ensure communities, including Native Americans, are able to access water due to the extreme drought that has impacted them."


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