Yes, California’s drought is all but over, and the dramatically revived Cachuma Lake proves it
Yes, California’s drought is all but over, and the dramatically revived Cachuma Lake proves it.
While much of California was emerging from five years of drought, this giant reservoir had dwindled to a weedy channel at just 7% of capacity and was perilously close to being written off as a regional water supply.
“We started bailing rainwater out of those boats with water pumps,” said Keller, 52, shaking his head at the memory.
“Meanwhile, the level of the lake was rising before our eyes.” The storm had dropped more than 7 inches of rain over the region, with much of that precipitation cascading down into the lake from the steep slopes and ravines of surrounding mountains.
Perhaps no reservoir in California was as depleted as Cachuma.
The reservoir had risen to 45% of capacity.
“And we don’t know if another storm like that will hit or not.
The lake provides about 85% of the water for a quarter-million Goleta Water District residents and 12,000 acres of cropland along Santa Barbara County’s south coast.
Goleta Water District customers have long relied on Cachuma to supply almost all of their water.
More than half of the district’s water at the time was supplied by its drought buffer: the Goleta Groundwater Basin.