Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara title=
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara is in its seventh year of a persistent drought. Fortunately, with careful water planning and prudent direction from City Council, the City has a diverse water portfolio that will meet water customers' demands through 2020.

Our drinking water supplies include surface water from Lake Cachuma and Gibraltar Reservoir; state water that is conveyed through Lake Cachuma; groundwater; and the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant, which began distributing drinking water in May 2017.

While Santa Barbara received some rain over the past winter and spring, it only amounted to 50% of normal annual rainfall, and Lake Cachuma remains at 40% of its

capacity. Additionally, Gibraltar Reservoir has been impacted by ash and debris from the Thomas Fire, and after several years of prolonged groundwater pumping, there are limited groundwater reserves.

With the current drought, our water customers have done an excellent job of cutting back on their water use, at times exceeding our conservation goal of 30%, which has helped to preserve our available water supplies. Recent annual city-wide water demands have consistently been below 10,000 acre-feet per year. This matches the City’s water usage in 1958, when the population was only half of what it is today.

The City’s desalination plant is permitted to produce up to 10,000

acre-feet per year (AFY), but is currently built to a capacity of 3,125 AFY, which is approximately 30% of the community’s current annual water demands. If water supply conditions worsen, the City is positioned to consider expanding the plant to ensure there are adequate water supplies to continue to meet the community’s water demands.

Water customers are being asked to continue their water conservation efforts. The City's Water Conservation Program offers free Water Checkups for efficiency recommendations as well as rebates, garden classes, instructional videos, and more. For more information, visit www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/WaterWise or call (805) 564-5460. 

Read the entire Annual Water Quality Report here.

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TomTomTomTom Jun 20, 2018 03:27 PM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Until the hotels are forced to reduce their use, the residents will get the shaft. We use less and pay more while thousands of tourists take 15min showers and wander the lush landscaping as if we were a tropical paradise daily.

Mccrank Jun 20, 2018 02:21 PM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

For ideas on how you can drastically cut your municipal water usage by 80% and save hundreds of $$$ a year go to: https://sites.google.com/site/opposebracebridgesewers/

a-1558754215 Jun 20, 2018 01:58 PM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Unbelievable they ask us to conserve and deprive ourselves, yet they continue to build. Do like SLO did - moratorium on building until drought is no longer "persisting". And, what happens after 2020?

a-1558754215 Jun 20, 2018 11:26 AM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

"The Drought Continues to Persist" is a genuinely silly and grammatically incorrect caption. Persist MEANS "continue." It's like writing "The Drought Continues to Continue." Who is responsible for this laughable caption? "The Drought Persists" or "The Drought Continues." Continues to Persist. Hahahahaha And, yes----Stop building!

Factotum Jun 20, 2018 10:18 AM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Moratorium on all new ADU and building permits needs to come with the water deprivation requirement continued to imposed on current residents. If we can't flush, they can't build.

Red Creek Jun 20, 2018 08:51 AM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Hope this isn't another justification for adding two more stories to buildings downtown, further "densification" that the owners allege will solve all our housing problems with expensive condos and boutique businesses. Meeting the "community's water demands" sounds like an excuse to allow more folks to squeeze into SB, while the current residents ante up for a larger desal plant to provide water.

PitMix Jun 20, 2018 08:03 AM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Of course if we save too much, they have to raise our rates because their costs are fixed. And they charge sewerage fees for all of the water when clearly the increase in use in the summer is due to outside watering. Anyway, as long as the drought persists then the decision to spend on the desal plant looks good. And I appreciate the less hard water delivered to my house as my wash loads require less soap now.

420722 Jun 20, 2018 07:50 AM
Drought Continues to Persist in Santa Barbara

Finally they’re bringing this issue up again. Santa Barbara was one of the only cities on the CA drought index that never made it out of the drought. It’s much worse than some think. Don’t expand that desal plant. STOP BUILDING!!

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