Monday, July 23, 2007

Year is one of driest in city's history


The twelve months between June 2006 and June 2007 have been the driest in Santa Barbara in more than 100 years, city officials said.
Total rainfall measured at El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant, 5.97 inches, is the lowest since 1898’s recorded amount of 4.57 inches. City officials are urging the public to conserve water usage while emphasizing that there is no need to panic.

“Our water supply is planned to withstand several years of below-average rainfall and water supplies remain adequate for all reasonable and efficient uses of water,” Steve Mack, Water Resources Manager for the city, said in a statement. “...Water conservation is an important part of stretching our supplies in case the recent dry weather continues.”
Two surface water reservoirs, groundwater wells, state-issued water and recycled water comprise Santa Barbara’s water supply. Lake Cachuma, the city’s primary source of water, provides five years of storage and is still about 80 percent full, city water officials said.
“Lake Cachuma is such an important water supply asset,” Public Works Director Tony Nisich said in a statement. “It minimizes the impact of a single dry year like the one that just ended.”
Water officials are monitoring the water supply and will present an update to the Water Commission in early August, projecting availability of water sources and any potential shortages.
Officials are urging residents to take advantage of the city’s free conservation services, including free water checkups, rebates for water-efficient plumbing fixtures and information on efficient irrigation, water-wise plants and overall water efficiency. Information is available at or by calling 805-564-5460.

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