CACHUMA LAKE, Calif. -

A 9000-foot pipeline has now been hooked up to a special pumping barge to bring critical water to the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.

The extension goes into the deepest area left in the dwindling water source.

It will bring the water to the Tecelote Tunnel. That delivers the supply to water districts including Santa Barbara and Goleta.

The lake is getting some new water supplies from the state water project, and a recent purchase from Kern County.   Water officials say the level is dropping in part due to use, evaporation and a downstream release.

As of Friday morning it was about 90 percent empty.

Santa Barbara County is at the "epicenter" of the Southern California drought crisis, according to one water official.

Conservation is currently at or above 35 percent each month as part of a community wide effort to reduce water use and save the local resources until it rains.