Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara water supplies still a concern

Recent rains help but drought continues

Gibraltar Dam spilled with the recent rains behind Santa Barbara. (Santa Barbara County photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara is still in a drought even with the strong start to the year with rain and more coming this weekend.

The updated water supply report to the Santa Barbara City Council detailed the current storage above and below ground and it was a mosaic of resources.

Cachuma lake has gone up with runoff from the storm this month but not significantly.  

Gibraltar dam spilled two weeks ago and will continue to release water if we get more rain the Santa Ynez watershed.

That water is heading into the Santa Ynez River and not into Mission tunnel to Santa Barbara.

The underground wells have been tested regularly to see if there's any salt water intrusion.  Some wells near the coast have been shut down because of that problem, but the issue has not gone up to the Highway 101 zone.

The conservation levels for the city are solid at 29 percent compared to usage in 2013.  At times in the last year it's been higher.

Residents are urged to conserve regularly, and not relax just because there's rain.  Without a wet winter the city says it could have new water issues to deal with in the next two years.


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