As the drought is at an all time catastrophic low, many areas of agriculture and livelihoods are at an extreme risk. Cachuma Lake is one example; it’s the primary water source for more than 200,000 people in Santa Barbara County. It supplies water to a handful of local districts like Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria Valley and Santa Ynez. It’s reported to be at its lowest water level in history with 12% capacity and could be fully exhausted by the end of the year. A weak El Niño certainly didn’t help the situation, as the county currently has a 70-percent countywide normal-to-date rainfall percentage. This means that the average winter has averaged more rainfall. We all need to do our part in helping to conserve water during this historic drought before it has irreversible effects and damages generations to come, not counting our own.
photos and words by Colin Quirt