Gibraltar Dam

Zero percent capacity

Driving to the top of Gibraltar Road, one gets a spectacular view of both the Pacific Ocean, the Channel Islands, Santa Barbara and the Los Padres National Forest, with the San Rafael Wilderness and part of the Santa Ynez River watershed. Seemingly endless layers of mountains, with amazing changes of color and texture. As you look down into the canyon below, you can see Gibraltar Dam. I drove up in October to have a look - the water was greenish and low, with shoreline visible around the perimeter. The Mission Tunnel carries water to Santa Barbara from this reservoir. Last Tuesday, at a Santa Barbara City Council Meeting, the Public Works department reported that Gibraltar is now at 0% capacity. Water has to be trucked in to the Dam Keeper's residence on site so that he has potable water. The Council is now asking for a 40% conservation effort (up from 25%).