Not out of the woods yet
April 2018 – Fire and Debris Flows are behind us for now, the mountains are just barely greening up where the Thomas Fire left nothing but scorched earth.
Most of Santa Barbara County is still in a D2 severe drought – conditions requiring a 25% reduction in water usage. Santa Barbara City is calling out a Stage 3 drought condition – extreme.
The NOAA forecast for precipitation during April through June is below normal and temperatures expected to be above average.
We are currently at 52% of normal rainfall for water year 2017/18. The Statewide mountain snowpack totals are only at 52% of historical average.
Cachuma Lake is at 40.2% capacity. Gibraltar is 99.6% but keep in mind it has about 2.5% of the AF capacity of Cachuma. Jameson is at 63.4% and currently is not being used due to water quality issues after the Thomas Fire.
There was much hopeful talk at the end of last year that California’s drought was ‘over’ – and in a few northern and coastal counties it seemed to be true. But the reality is that we are far from it and all the talk of a “new normal” for California weather continues to ring true.
Still so much at stake – conservation is critical and thankfully most of our area has been doing a good job of it. There are great conservation tips on both the Montecito Water District and City of Santa Barbara websites: