Lake Cachuma is Making a Comeback

Just three months ago, County News told you about the dire situation at Lake Cachuma. The 3,000-acre reservoir had reached an all-time low capacity of 7 percent, raising fears that it would no longer be able to supply water to the region.

Boy, what a difference some rain makes.

On Feb. 17, the Santa Ynez Valley saw one of its largest storms in years. Within days, the lake had risen 31 feet. It then hit 42.5 capacity, up 24.5 percent from the previous week, according to a report from Santa Barbara County.

Just as Lake Cachuma served as a bellwether for the state’s drought, its resurgence shows just how far California has come. County officials, however, are quick to caution any overly-optimistic observers.

The lake’s 43 percent capacity represents a stark turnout around, sure. But compared to many state reservoirs—at least six of which are well over 100 percent capacity—it still has a ways to go. While the state as a whole has seen vast improvements, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are the only two remaining counties in the extreme drought (D3) stage.


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