Despite Major Storm Last Winter, Officials Expect Continued Drought Conditions On South Coast

May 22, 2018

Even with a winter season that had a major storm event, Santa Barbara is not making enough of a water comeback from the drought conditions to report a solid supply.

The city says it is working from a 10-year drought emergency plan using a water shortage timeline that began seven years ago in 2011.

The eighth year of the plan begins in October, and already the wettest months of this year have passed.

With that development, the city will have to rely on water from Cachuma Lake and the Gibraltar Reservoir, as well as outside purchases, underground wells, and the desalination plant in Santa Barbara.

They're also counting on conservation by residents of 30% a year to make ends meet.

For now the city says there's enough water under the plan to last through 2020.

What's not currently known is how much silt Gibraltar and Lake Cachuma have taken in from the water flow that went through the fire zones.