Lake Cachuma emergency water system gets state funding

Jan 23, 2015

A boat ramp at Lake Cachuma sits well above the current water line. Nov. 2014.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

An emergency addition to the water uptake system at Lake Cachuma will allow the Santa Barbara area to continue pumping, even as the lake level continues to drop.

Cachuma's gravity-fed system was near bottoming out due to the historic drought.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson along with Assembly member Das Williams announced Friday that $3 million dollars in state funding was being provided to help pay for the upgrade, with a million of that coming from Prop. 84 grant.

Jackson says it took a collaborative effort with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to secure the money.

"The system that we have did not qualify under any of the traditional funding mechanisms for water in the state," said Jackson. "We had to work very closely with the governor's office and with [the DWR and the SWRCB] in order to find a way—if you will—to put a square peg in a round hole."

More than 200,000 Santa Barbara County residents depend on the water pumped at Cachuma as their primary water source.