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Cachuma Lake comeback shows impressive water supply

Cachuma Lake April 10, 2020
John Palminteri
Cachuma Lake continues to show a solid rise in water supplies after suffering from serious drought depletion in 2016. (Photo: John Palminteri)

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. - One of the poster-lake shots for the California drought in 2016 was Cachuma Lake in the Santa Ynez Valley when it dropped down to a muddy level of seven percent surrounded by brown hills.

This morning after impressive rains and a direct runoff from the Santa Ynez watershed it is rising to within 15 feet of the spill level at Bradbury Dam.

This weeks rain in the San Marcos Pass area near the lake came in at over seven inches.

Upstream, Gibraltar reservoir, a City of Santa Barbara supply source, is at 100 percent. It spills into the Santa Ynez River, gushes over Paradise Road and that feeds Cachuma Lake.

Cachuma is a vital supply of water for South County water districts from Goleta to Carpinteria.

The Santa Barbara County hydrology report shows the lake at 78.5 percent of capacity, and it is rising with the ongoing runoff from steady rain off and on since Sunday.

That, combined with a wet weather patter recently has led to an amazing turnaround for the critical water source.

Safety / Santa Barbara- S County / Video / Weather News

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.