Despite Weekend Rains, Cachuma Lake Levels Still Down Significantly

Mar 8, 2016

Even with several strong rain events since Saturday, a main water source in Santa Barbara County is struggling to make a comeback from the drought.

Cachuma Lake is still down significantly, and is not showing signs of coming up as many had hoped by now.

The lake level is still 85 percent below the spill gates at Bradbury Dam. Cachuma is the main water source for southern Santa Barbara County serving areas including Goleta, Santa Barbara Carpinteria and Montecito.

The county does do cloud seeding when appropriate to enhance rainfall over the watershed areas into the lake and other important water storage areas, but it will take a season of 20 to 30 inches of rain to get the lake levels moving again - and we are far from that.

The last two sizeable storms dropped only five inches on San Marcos Pass.

Some portions of the Santa Ynez river, which feeds Cachuma, have started flowing slowly but unless there are more storms soon, that too will subside.