The most recent storms have made a big difference at Lake Casitas. The lake is now at 42% of capacity.
The entire lake has risen by seven feet because of the most recent storm. While the increase is significant, it is not enough to get the area out of drought conditions.
“We are still in drought. We still have a ways to go. People need to realize that all this rain is still not enough to get us out yet. In fact we are slightly over an average year of rainfall so far this year but we have had five years of drought. It takes a lot to recover from that,” said Ron Merkling with the Casitas Municipal Water District.
Lake Casitas’ increase is small compared to Lake Cachuma that bounced up about 30 feet in just a couple days. One of the reasons Lake Casitas is filling up slower than Lake Cachuma also has to do with where it gets its water.
“So Lake Cachuma receives water from the Santa Ynez River which is a direct inflow into the lake. What we have here is we get a couple of small creeks that enter the lake, but we also have the canal which has a small capacity and we only take a small portion of that water from the Ventura river,” said Merkling.
Lake Casitas provides water to 70,000 residents in Ventura County as well as hundreds of farms.